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PM meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel: 9 April 2019

by Politicker 0 Comments

Having asked for an extension for the Article 50 timescale to the end of June, Theresa May has had a meeting with Angela Merkel in order to gain support for her request.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-meeting-with-chancellor-angela-merkel-9-april-2019

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this afternoon for a working lunch.

Ahead of EU Council tomorrow, the leaders discussed the UK’s request for an extension of Article 50 to June 30th with the option to bring this forward if a deal is ratified earlier.

The Prime Minister outlined the steps the government is taking to bring the Brexit process to a successful conclusion, and updated Chancellor Merkel on the ongoing discussions with the Opposition.

The leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.

The leaders also discussed the ongoing situations in Yemen and Libya.

Yes Minister

A distraction from the Brexit shenanigans.

From Series 2 Episode 5 “The Devil you know” Sir Humphrey and Jim Hacker discuss Brussels and why European nations joined the common market.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act – Passed

This Bill started its passage through Parliament on 2 April 2019 and looks to remove a bargaining chip from the UK in it’s discussions with the EU to prevent No Deal. The Bill completed its passage through Parliament (House of Commons and House of Lords) on 08 April 2019.

In trying to understand the consequences of this legislation it is useful to explore a Research Briefing prepared for the House of Commons:

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8541#fullreport

By the automatic operation of EU law, the UK leaves the EU on 12 April 2019 regardless of whether a deal has been ratified. The purpose of the Bill is to reduce the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, or at least to delay that outcome beyond 12 April 2019 if that is what MPs want and the European Council is prepared to agree to it.

An important point here is that any extension needs to be agreed by the EU Council! They can reject a selected extension and/or propose their own date.

The day after the day on which this Bill gets Royal Assent, the Prime Minister would have to table a motion. This motion must seek Commons approval for a proposal that the UK asks the European Council for an extension to Article 50. The motion must set out the Prime Minister’s preferred extension date.

Following Royal Assent of the Bill on 08 April 2019 (when it became Law) the following Motion has been tabled for debate on 9 April 2019

The Prime Minister

That this House agrees for the purposes of section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the Prime Minister seeking an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union to a period ending on 30 June 2019.

As it happens the PM has already written to Donald Tusk (on 5 April 2019) requesting an extension to 30 June 2019 with an option to terminate early. Has the fast tracking of this Bill through Parliament been a complete waste of time ?

If the EU offers a different extension to the one proposed, the PM the must seek approval from the House of Commons before the revised date can be agreed with the EU.

The Act also provides a further role for the Commons in the event that the European Council does not agree to the Prime Minister’s request but proposes an alternative date. In those circumstances, the Prime Minister would have to seek further Commons approval before agreeing to that revised date and thereby giving effect to it in EU law.

The full report is available in the attached document issued by the House of Commons library

European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill 2017-19

EU Fake News – How can you tell ?

Recently came across a propaganda machine for the EU in the UK called the “European Commission in the UK” espousing virtues of the EU.

EU Representation in the United Kingdom

Our role is to:

Be a source of EU-related information for you, for your business, media, educational institutions and for the public authorities.

Explain how EU policies will affect you in the United Kingdom.

Speak for the European Commission as its voice in the UK, providing background briefings for the media as well as on-the-record comment on relevant issues.

Inform the European Commission in Brussels on political, economic and social developments in the UK.

Noticed an interesting/amusing section called EUROMYTHS

https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/euromyths-a-z-index/

which attempts to debunk what it calls “fake news” stories in the UK Press about the EU.

But where is the actual truth ?

Picking one of the stories at random (OK – not quite random)

From a news story in the Times from November 2009 !! the story is that

Black boxes – EU wants one in every car

The European Union is drawing up plans for aircraft-style black box recorders to be fitted to all cars to help the police identify who is responsible for crashes. A £2.4m, three-year study commissioned by the European commission’s transport arm has recommended the mandatory installation of the boxes in all cars.

The EU response is:

Don’t bet your car on this! It’s wrong – there are no such proposals. The study quoted is a piece of research and the opinions in it represent the views of the consultants who carried it out.

Wind on a few years into the future to see:

Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) – Last update: 12/04/2019

Amongst many articles this one, published on 28 February 2019 by James Allen,

Speed Limiters and Black Boxes could soon be mandatory on all new cars

From the horse’s mouth

Commission welcomes agreement on new EU rules to help save lives

from the EU Parliament (Press Release) 26 March 2019:

Safer roads: EU lawmakers agree on life-saving technologies for new vehicles

and another press release 11 April 10 2019:

Safer roads: Life-saving technologies to be fitted in new vehicles

New cars, vans, trucks and buses will have to be equipped with safety features aiming to save lives, according to a new law to be voted on by MEPs on Tuesday (16 April 2019), already informally agreed with EU ministers. One of those compulsory features is the Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) system, which could reduce fatalities on EU roads by 20%, according to estimates. ISA will provide a driver with feedback, based on maps and road sign observation, when they exceed the speed limit. The system is not a speed limiter and the driver will be able to switch it off. Other life-saving systems to be introduced in new vehicles include advanced emergency breaking, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency lane keeping, reversing detection system, alcohol interlock installation facilitation, emergency stop signal and event data recorder(“black box”).

So where does the truth lie ?

In order that it cannot be accused of promoting its own fake news there is a disclaimer on the Euromyths blog

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

So that’s alright then !!

PM’s speech on Brexit negotiations: 6 April 2019

The PM made a speech about the Brexit negotiations on 6 April 2019, but there is no mention of what she has agreed with Jeremy Corbyn!

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pms-words-on-brexit-negotiations-6-april-2019

Delivering Brexit has been my priority ever since I became Prime Minister and it remains so today. I want the UK to leave the EU in an orderly way as soon as possible and that means leaving in a way that does not disrupt people’s lives.

My strong preference was to do that by winning a majority in Parliament for the agreement the UK reached with the EU last November. I did everything in my power to persuade the Conservative and DUP MPs who form the government’s majority to back that deal, including securing legally-binding changes to address MPs’ concerns with it.

But that deal was rejected three times by Parliament and there is no sign it can be passed in the near future. So I had to take a new approach.

Because Parliament has made clear it will stop the UK leaving without a deal, we now have a stark choice: leave the European Union with a deal or do not leave at all.

My answer to that is clear: we must deliver Brexit and to do so we must agree a deal. If we cannot secure a majority among Conservative and DUP MPs we have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons.

The referendum was not fought along party lines and people I speak to on the doorstep tell me they expect their politicians to work together when the national interest demands it. The fact is that on Brexit there are areas where the two main parties agree: we both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs.

That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit.

The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all. It would mean letting the Brexit the British people voted for slip through our fingers. I will not stand for that. It is essential we deliver what people voted for and to do that we need to get a deal over the line.

To achieve this I will go to Brussels this week to seek a short extension to Article 50. My intention is to reach an agreement with my fellow EU leaders that will mean if we can agree a deal here at home we can leave the EU in just six weeks.

We can then get on with building a new relationship with our nearest neighbours that will unlock the full potential of Brexit and deliver the brighter future that the British people voted for.

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