TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar says it is a significant day for Ireland after an agreement was reached beween the UK and the EU that guarantees on keeping the border open after Brexit.Britain and the European Union reached the historic deal on Brexit divorce terms overnight.And now it allows them to open up talks on a future relationship after the split.The European Commission announced that it “recommends sufficient progress” had been made by Britain on separation issues including the Irish border, Britain’s divorce bill, and citizens’ rights.Taoiseach Varadkar said: “We have achieved all that we set out to achieve in phase one of these negotiations.“I am satisfied that sufficient progress has now been made on Irish issues, the parameters have now been set and they are good.”He said Ireland’s focus would now move to phase two of the negotiations.Varadkar said his government would remain “fully engaged and vigilant” throughout the … [Read more...] about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hails ‘significant’ deal for Ireland as UK and EU reach agreement over border
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New Transport Minister Liz Sugg has failed to guarantee flights will not be grounded by Brexit . Air safety is an EU remit and, unless there’s a UK deal, many of our planes will be unable to take off after 11pm on March 29, 2019. Baroness Sugg, 40, has only been in post a month and peers last week called for an assurance on flights. But she was unable to give one, saying only: “Safe and efficient air traffic management is a priority for us.” The Lords heard failure of a post-Brexit air safety deal will risk Britain’s £127billion tourist trade – which three million jobs rely on. Trans-atlantic flights used by 90 million passengers a year will also be hit as they are under EU-US regulation. Airport operators, travel agents and US airlines all need clarity by the spring, but Lib Dem Dee Doocey said that’s now unlikely. And Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted the “worst case scenario” was air traffic between the UK and EU suspended on … [Read more...] about All planes between UK and Europe could be grounded if there’s no Brexit deal, pilots warn
Brexit-backing business chiefs are set to meet the EU’s top negotiator to press their case for a trade deal. Shopping channel tycoon John Mills and former CBI boss Digby Jones are expected to join independent British MEP Steven Woolfe in talks with Michel Barnier in the run up to next month’s crunch EU summit. They will tell the EU negotiator “this will be a win-win scenario” for both the UK and EU. Mr Woolfe demanded the Brussels meeting after Mr Barnier met Remain supporters including former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Labour peer Lord Adonis and pro-EU Tory former Chancellor Ken Clarke. Former UKIP leadership hopeful Mr Woolfe wants to “give Barnier an alternative view”. He refused to say which five “very senior business people from the UK” were joining him, but said they were “very well known individuals running big organisations”. The Mirror understands the delegation will include Mr Mills and Lord Jones. The group will … [Read more...] about British business chiefs to tell Brussels top negotiator Brexit can be a win-win for UK and EU
CRIMINALS are being dumped by Romanian courts on Britain — and they then use EU human rights laws to stay here.Villains including gangsters, smugglers and cash machine crooks are given permission to travel here while on bail.They then get legal aid to hire lawyers who block their extradition on the grounds standard two-metre square Romanian jail cells fall foul of EU human rights law.A Sun investigation has revealed Romanian judges are allowing the travel on the flimsiest of excuses — to take a holiday, see relatives or even go to a pigeon fanciers’ fair.British authorities are powerless to deport them after a landmark European Court of Justice ruling opened the floodgates last year.Ciggie smuggler Cioanca Catalin had his 16-month jail term delayed so he could go to a pigeon fanciers’ event in the UK.Unlike his pigeons, he did not fly home.Anastasescu George Alin was prosecuted for shunning fire checks at his Bucharest nightclub where 64 revellers died in a … [Read more...] about Romanian criminals allowed bail to travel to UK… and EU laws ban deporting them
SPAIN and the EU were yesterday warned not to monkey around with Gibraltar — by the Rock’s famous apes.The Barbary apes, Gibraltar’s best-loved tourist attraction, showed their support for The Sun’s Hands Off Our Rock campaign by vigorously waving copies of our poster.Local legend says that Britain’s rule in Gibraltar will only end if the apes, which are actually macaque monkeys, abandon their home on the Rock.And they made it abundantly clear they are staying put — enthusiastically grabbing and waving posters and copies of The Sun handed out by our journalists.In fact, Gibraltar’s macaque population is thriving as never before.And Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said that is a potent symbol that British rule is destined to endure.Mr Picardo, gesturing defiantly towards the lofty crags of the mighty white Rock that towers above his office, added: “Our monkeys aren’t going anywhere.“There are now over 300 apes on the Rock … [Read more...] about Gibraltar locals and monkeys join the fight and enthusiastically back The Sun’s Hands Off Our Rock campaign as Spain and EU are warned off
FINNISH-style baby boxes are becoming popular in the UK as health chiefs try to cut the number of babies dying in the first year of life.But they are now the subject of controversy after a leading charity warned there is no proof they cut the risk of cot death. Here’s what you need to know about baby boxes…The tradition of baby boxes started in Finland in 1938. Since then the state has given every expectant mother a stiff cardboard box – a kind of starter kit for new parents.The idea is to give all children, rich and poor, the best start in life.Each box contains essentials such as nappies, romper suits, outdoor winter clothes, a sleeping bag, sheets and a small mattress.With the mattress at the bottom, the box can be used as the baby’s first crib.When they were first issued it was was common for babies to sleep in the same bed as their parents, which doctors wanted to discourage.Initially the boxes were only for low-income mothers, but the scheme was extended … [Read more...] about What are baby boxes, does the NHS provide them in the UK and when did Finland first introduce them?
FOREIGN drivers who dodge parking fines owe councils up to £20million — and EU rules let them get away with it.Cash-strapped town halls are chasing payment for more than 500,000 fines given to overseas drivers in the last three years alone.But they have little hope of recovering the cash as there is no way of tracing the culprits.EU rules give non-UK vehicles six months on our roads before they have to register with the DVLA.Yet bosses admit it is impossible to track those that have not and have no idea how many are driving illegally.Martin Tett, of the Local Government Association, said it was “hugely unfair” on British drivers who have to pay up if they break the law.He said the lost fines could have been spent fixing roads. In London, Westminster Council has torn up £2.5million in fines since 2015, with Ealing and Haringey councils owed almost £1million each.Birmingham, Manchester and Brighton are each chasing hundreds of thousands of … [Read more...] about Foreign drivers owe UK £20m after dodging parking fines – and EU lets them get away with it
If you thought the scenario of the UK leaving the EU with all that entails was bad enough, think again: If there is no deal at the end of negotiations to formally finalize the UK's exit in March 2019, many observers believe the apocalypse could be upon us. So what exactly would a "no deal" mean in practice? Steve Bullock, who worked at the UK Representation to the EU from 2010-2014 where he negotiated several EU regulations for the UK in EU Council working groups, describes it thus: "People have made the analogy of buying a car, but not coming to an agreement. What Theresa May is about to do is drive a reliable, working car down to the car dealer, set fire to it right there, and then say to him 'You have to sell me a car, or else I'm walking home.'" Trade: With no deal in place, trading would defer to World Trade Organization rules. Tariffs and customs checks would be slapped on UK exports to the EU and vice versa. And this is where the problems become meaty, if you'll … [Read more...] about Brexit: What’s the ‘no deal’ fallout for the UK and EU?
The Conservative Party was re-elected last May promising to hold a referendum before 2017. Today, the battle over Britain's membership in the EU began a new phase after European Council President Donald Tusk published details of a deal with British Prime Minister David Cameron. The deal allows for an "emergency brake" on in-work benefits for EU migrant workers. This would have to be agreed by other EU nations and it would be "graduated", with more money from tax credits paid to migrants the longer they remain in the UK. It also contains measures for the protection of countries outside the common currency. Cameron, whose goal was to negotiate changes to the relationship in order to keep Britain inside the union, said that the deal would deliver the "substantial change" he demanded. "The proposed reforms still need to be adopted by the Council – and they are humble," says Rem Korteweg, senior researcher at the Center for European Reform. Most will not dramatically change the way … [Read more...] about Opening shots fired in UK for EU referendum debate
Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for Angela Merkel, said on Monday that the German chancellor wanted Britain to remain an "active and engaged" member of the European Union but added that she would would not give way to the British prime minister's plans to curb immigration from other EU countries . Ahead of May 2015 elections, David Cameron has reacted to pressure from Britain's isolationist anti-EU UK Independence Party by pledging to take steps to limit the level of migration into Britain. Seibert said that Germany shared an interest in fighting "possible abuse" of labor and social welfare benefits laws but insisted that the overall EU principle of freedom of movement must remain. Without identifying sources, the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that German officials could envision giving up efforts to keep Britain in the European Union if Cameron continued to insist on limits. According to Der Spiegel, Merkel has warned her British counterpart that such a … [Read more...] about Spokesman: Merkel doesn’t want to give up on UK in EU