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PM Mansion House Speech 2 March 2018

Today, 2 March 2018, at the Mansion House in London, Prime Minister Theresa May made a speech on the future economic partnership between the UK and the EU.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-speech-on-our-future-economic-partnership-with-the-european-union

(Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

I am grateful to the Lord Mayor and all his team at the Mansion House for hosting us this afternoon.

And in the midst of the bad weather, I would just like to take a moment before I begin my speech today to thank everyone in our country who is going the extra mile to help people at this time. I think of our emergency services and armed forces working to keep people safe; our NHS staff, care workers, and all those keeping our public services going; and the many volunteers who are giving their time to help those in need. Your contribution is a special part of who we are as a country – and it is all the more appreciated at a moment like this.

Five tests
Now I am here today to set out my vision for the future economic partnership between the United Kingdom and the European Union. There have been many different voices and views in the debate on what our new relationship with the EU should look like. I have listened carefully to them all. But as we chart our way forward with the EU, I want to take a moment to look back.

Eighteen months ago I stood in Downing Street and addressed the nation for my first time as Prime Minister. I made this pledge then, to the people that I serve:

I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle.

The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours.

We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives.

When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.

When we pass new laws, we’ll listen not to the mighty but to you.

When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you.

When it comes to opportunity, we won’t entrench the advantages of the fortunate few.

We will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.

We are living through an important moment in our country’s history. As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold new positive role for ourselves in the world, and we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us.

That pledge, to the people of our United Kingdom is what guides me in our negotiations with the EU.

And for me that means five things:

First, the agreement we reach with the EU must respect the referendum. It was a vote to take control of our borders, laws and money. And a vote for wider change, so that no community in Britain would ever be left behind again. But it was not a vote for a distant relationship with our neighbours.

Second, the new agreement we reach with the EU must endure. After Brexit both the UK and the EU want to forge ahead with building a better future for our people, not find ourselves back at the negotiating table because things have broken down.

Third, it must protect people’s jobs and security. People in the UK voted for our country to have a new and different relationship with Europe, but while the means may change our shared goals surely have not – to work together to grow our economies and keep our people safe.

Fourth, it must be consistent with the kind of country we want to be as we leave: a modern, open, outward-looking, tolerant, European democracy. A nation of pioneers, innovators, explorers and creators. A country that celebrates our history and diversity, confident of our place in the world; that meets its obligations to our near neighbours and far off friends, and is proud to stand up for its values.

And fifth, in doing all of these things, it must strengthen our union of nations and our union of people.

We must bring our country back together, taking into account the views of everyone who cares about this issue, from both sides of the debate. As Prime Minister it is my duty to represent all of our United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; north and south, from coastal towns and rural villages to our great cities.

So these are the five tests for the deal that we will negotiate.

  • Implementing the decision of the British people
  • reaching an enduring solution
  • protecting our security and prosperity
  • delivering an outcome that is consistent with the kind of country we want to be
  • bringing our country together, strengthening the precious union of all our people.
  • Statement by Michel Barnier 27 February 2018

    Michel Barnier made a statement regarding Brexit, in French, at a Press Conference following an EU General Affairs Council meeting on 27 February 2018.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-18-1343_en.htm

    In the lack of the provision of this statement in any other language, my interpretation of the speech is as follows:

    In his statement, Barnier mentions that he is concerned that “the clock is ticking” and that there is little time left for negotiations with the UK between now and Autumn 2018, when the EU requires talks to have completed.

    He announced that their draft text of a treaty for the Withdrawal Agreement will be released on 28 February 2018 ready for discussion with the remaining 27 member states and EU Parliament before being presented to the UK. The document consists of 120 pages containing 168 specific articles and will represent the Legal form of the commitments agreed to with the UK in December 2017.

    The document in addition to the topics of Citizens Rights, Financial demands and Ireland will also cover the EU positions on other issues regarding the withdrawal.

    Details for the Transition (Implementation) period are included in the Draft document and Barnier mentioned that there are still important differences of opinion with the UK regarding what is meant by the Transition (Implementation) period:

    • The EU proposes that it end on 31 December 2020 while the UK wants a longer period – which is not possible.
    • The EU wants to continue freedom of movement of Citizens during the Transition (Implementation) period whereas the UK wants the cut-off date to be the date of withdrawal
    • There remain differences regarding
      • The opt-in option for Justice and Home affairs
      • The ability for the UK to conclude International Trade agreements
      • The participation of the UK in committees of experts
      • Consultation mechanisms during the Transition (Implementation) period regarding Fisheries and Foreign and Defence policy.

    Currently, given these differences between the EU and the UK, the Transition (Implementation) period has yet to be agreed. Barnier states his readiness to discuss and negotiate these details with David Davis.

    His final comments related to the future relationship between the EU and the UK and he mentioned that the EU had held numerous internal seminars with the remaining 27 member states and the EU Parliament covering topics such as Aviation, Fisheries, Security, Defence and Foreign Policy.

    These seminars were used to emphasise the principles of the European Identity, the integrity of the internal market and the four freedoms which are non-negotiable as far as the EU 27 are concerned and Barnier will negotiate with the UK on that basis.

    Britain’s Trading Future – Liam Fox 27 Feb 2018

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    Continuing the trend for Cabinet Ministers making speeches about Brexit, Dr Liam Fox made a speech in London which outlines the Government’s vision for the UK’s commercial future, and our leadership role in the global economy.

    Thank you Constantin for the introduction. And thank you to Bloomberg for hosting us in these wonderful surroundings. It is a pleasure to be here today to talk about Britain’s trading future.

    The historic decision by the British people to leave the European Union has presented this country with a number of choices about its future global direction. It has generated a great deal of soul-searching and caused a number of important questions to be aired. Some of these relate specifically to the referendum decision itself, others are questions which needed to be addressed anyway but have been brought into sharper focus by that decision.

    Where do we see our place in the world?

    What sort of economy and what sort of country do we want to be?

    What should our influence be in global affairs and global trade?

    How will we generate the income we will need to ensure a prosperous and secure future for the generations that come after us?

    Since the referendum vote and the creation of the Department for International Trade, my ministerial team and I have undertaken over 150 overseas visits, to all parts of the globe, to old friends and new allies alike and to markets large and small. From across the world, the keenness to deepen trade and investment ties with this country and once again hear us champion the case for free trade, is palpable.

    And why should that surprise us?

    The United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest and most successful economies. We are at record levels of employment. Our success is underpinned by a legal system whose reputation is second to none. We have a skilled workforce and a low tax and a well-regulated economy. We are home to some of the world’s finest universities, our research and development capabilities are cutting-edge and our financial institutions world-leading. We are in the right time zone to trade with Asia in the morning and the United States in the afternoon, and, of course, we speak English, the language of global business.

    David Davis Speech in Vienna 20 February 2018

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    David Davis gave a speech on delivering our Future Economic Partnership (with the EU) in Vienna on 20 February 2018.

    Good morning.

    It’s a pleasure to be here in Vienna. A city which, like Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and of course London, has earned its status as one of Europe’s truly global cities. These are places which shape the nations in which they are situated.

    And the ideas and values of those of us who are proud to call ourselves Europeans — as well as being Austrian, French, German, Dutch or indeed British.

    I suspect that nowhere is that more true than Vienna, which has a long history as a capital of ideas. Indeed, I suspect that when the Vienna Circle gathered in the Cafe Central in this city, they produced more challenging ideas in a day than many universities do in a decade. Ideas that form the intellectual basis of modern politics. These global cities bring us together.

    This week alone, in London’s great universities, students from across Europe will be taught the ideas of the Austrian School of Economics. While your incredible Vienna State Opera will see a leading English soprano star in work by Handel, a Londoner born in Germany. And just this morning tens of thousands of Austrians will go to work to earn a living from companies which are owned or headquartered in the United Kingdom. These are the current, lived, shared experiences, and they point the way to a shared future which will continue after Brexit.

    Now I know that since our Referendum much thought, throughout Europe, has gone into what Britain’s relationship with the European Union really means. Whether a close partnership is really possible with a nation that, by the decision of its people, is leaving the structures designed to produce such a relationship.

    And whether Britain is going to be the same country it has been in the past. Dependable, Open, Fair,

    A bastion of Parliamentary democracy, And a defender of liberty, and the rule of law. Well, to cut to the chase — we are.

    We were before we joined the European Union, we are while we are members, and we will be after we have left.

    And I’m here to explain not just why we must continue to work together as the closest of partners and friends, but also how we should go about doing it. We are currently negotiating the Implementation Period, a crucial bridge to our new partnership. And next month we will start detailed discussions on exactly how our new relationship will look, which is why this tour of Europe is happening today. But before we begin that process I believe there are two important principles which can help us point in the right direction.

    The first is Britains determination to lead a race to the top in global standards. The second is the principle of fair competition, which underpins the best elements of the European economy, and which we must work hard to spread.

    PM Press Conference with Chancellor Merkel, 16 Feb 2018

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    A joint press conference, held on 16 February 2018 from Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, ahead of attending the 2018 Munich Security Conference.

    Chancellor Merkel

    Ladies and gentlemen, we are delighted to be able to welcome the British Prime Minister Theresa May to Berlin today. She will go on and stand to participate in the Munich Security Conference. We have a very close exchange of views, both on Britain leaving the European Union, and on the international agenda, and our intensive cooperation on all global issues.

    We basically have not changed our stance on Britain’s leaving the European Union. We deplore it, but we want to adopt a constructive position because we want to have as close as possible a partnership with Britain even after leaving the European Union, both economically and politically. We were guided by this spirit when talking about leaving, when talking about the transition period, and in March, we will deal with the issue of the guidelines for our future relationship.

    For us as Germans, we would like to see a situation where we as 27 act together in these negotiations, but obviously bilateral talks are of prime importance in this particular phase and at this particular stage. All this is a process that is ongoing, we’re all developing our ideas about this, so we will very much look forward to Britain, again, setting out its ideas. The speech in Florence was a very important speech in this respect, and we will obviously follow very carefully what other statements will be made in the period leading up to the March Council. And then we will also try and coordinate very closely on the future guidelines as we work on them.

    We would like to initiate those negotiations because we are under a certain amount of time pressure, but obviously, we also want to be very diligent, very careful, in working on this, which means we will have frequent exchanges of views.

    Looking at global challenges, we talked about the nuclear agreement with Iran. There’s a very close coordination here, and also a common position of the European partners of Britain, therefore, also and of Germany. We also talked about Britain hosting this year the so-called Berlin Process, as a conference with the countries of the Western Balkans. I must say that I’m delighted to note that, irrespective of Britain leaving the European Union, this perspective of the Western Balkans is seen as a very important point also about Britain in order to ensure a peaceful order for the whole of Europe.

    We talked about Ukraine and the conflict there, and about how we can achieve progress there. And we also talked about Syria, we voiced our concerns about the situation there on the ground. Obviously, Turkey has a legitimate interest in ensuring its own security, but everything that can lead to tensions among NATO partners has to be avoided at all costs. And then we will coordinate very closely on this, as well. So, it was a very constructive talk guided by a spirit of friendship of partnership, so yet again, a very warm welcome to you, Theresa, here to Berlin.

    Prime Minister May

    It’s a pleasure to be in Berlin once again and I thank Chancellor Merkel for hosting these talks today. You may recall, she was the first Head of Government that I visited after becoming Prime Minister in 2016, I think underlining the importance of the relationship between our two countries.

    Our partnership is vital in defending our shared values and promoting our interests around the world. We are standing side-by-side in Eastern Europe as part of NATO efforts to reassure our allies and deter Russian aggression.

    Our Armed Forces are supporting the Iraqi Government to liberate territory in their brave fight against Daesh in the Middle East.

    And in areas such as global health, climate change, clean energy, UK-Germany cooperation has shaped the international agenda.

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