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18th Jan 2017

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Column / Brexit Briefing

May’s Maggie moment

Out of the single Market, out of the clutches of the European Court of Justice, probably out of the customs union. "Out, out, out." Maggie Thatcher would have loved it. Theresa May’s speech to ambassadors on Tuesday (17 January) carried more than a hint of ...

Column / Health Matters

Are you forgetful? Outsource your memory to the cloud

Cybernetics and artificial intelligence have the potential to treat or cure neurological diseases, according to the world’s first cyborg. For those who grew up on a diet of 1980s blockbuster movies, the mention of cyborgs evokes apocalyptic scenarios - the ...

EU counter-terrorism laws "stripping rights", says Amnesty

Executive power grabs and counter-terrorism laws are rolling back freedoms across the EU, according to a report by Amnesty International. Two years in preparation and covering 14 EU states, the document published on Tuesday (17 January) says Europe is ...

Ticker

Spain 'broadly compliant' with EU fiscal rules

The European Commission said on Tuesday that the Spanish 2017 budget was "broadly compliant" with the EU stability pact but that Spain still has to "accelerate" progress. It expects Spain's deficit to be 0.2 percentage points above the 3.1% target set for ...

Gulen did not order Turkey coup, EU spies say

Exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen did not order the coup in Turkey, a leaked document from EU intelligence services says. The document, written by the EU’s intelligence-sharing unit Intcen, also says a post-coup purge of supposed Gulen supporters led by ...

Theresa May outlines 'hard Brexit'

British prime minister Theresa May outlined on Tuesday (18 January) a strategy leading to a so-called hard Brexit from the EU. "What I'm proposing cannot mean membership of the single market," she said in a speech to ambassadors called Plan for Britain.
 ...

Ticker

UK parliament to vote in final Brexit deal

"I can confirm today the government will put the final deal to a vote in Parliament," British prime minister Theresa May said in a speech in London on Tuesday. She also said that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be "fully engaged" in the upcoming ...

Ticker

UK to leave EU single market after Brexit

The UK will leave the EU single market when it leaves the EU, prime minister Theresa May said on Tuesday. "What I'm proposing cannot mean membership of the single market," she said in a speech outlining her 12 priorities in the upcoming talks with the EU. ...

Ticker

Center-right Tajani ahead in EU parliament vote

Antonio Tajani, the center-right EPP candidate for European Parliament president, came ahead in the first round of the vote with 274 votes, ahead of his main competitor, social-democrat Gianni Pittella (184 votes), but short of an absolute majority. All ...

Liberals and centre-right unite in EU parliament

The European Parliament's centre-right and liberal groups reached a last-minute deal on Tuesday (17 January) to back centre-right EPP candidate Antonio Tajani as the assembly's next president. Under the deal, which was reached minutes before the first ...

UK economy faring better than expected, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund has upgraded its economic forecasts for the eurozone and the UK this year, but said British growth would slow down in 2018. In an update to its biannual World Outlook published on Monday (16 January), the IMF said the ...

Ticker

Verhofstadt to back Tajani in EP race

Liberal candidate Guy Verhofstadt announced Tuesday he was pulling out of the race for the European Parliament (EP) presidency and putting his support behind Antonio Tajani, the candidate of the centre-right EPP group, which is the largest in the EU ...

Ticker

Auditors criticise EU food waste

Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with the amount to rise to 126 million tonnes by 2020 unless additional preventive action is taken, a new report from the European Court of Auditors published on Tuesday has said. The European ...

Ticker

Former Nato chief optimistic on Trump's 'potential'

"Trump has the potential to stabilise American politics and restore reliable American leadership on the world stage," former Nato secretary-general and Danish leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said. Rasmussen, who now runs a private consultancy, said in ...

Ticker

Northern Ireland to hold snap elections

Voters in Northern Ireland will go to the polls on 2 March following the collapse of the region's power-sharing government. The election will be held in the shadow of uncertainty over Brexit. The Protestant Democratic Unionist Party are allied with the ...

Ticker

US marines arrive in Norway

Some 300 elite American troops arrived in Norway on Monday in the first six-month segment of a new Marine Rotation Force in the Arctic area. Norway shares a small border with Russia in the northeast. The deployment is part of wider Nato plans to create a ...

Theresa May: UK cannot be 'half-in, half-out' of EU

British prime minister Theresa May is steering towards a "hard Brexit" from the European Union, a leaked draft of a policy speech indicates. “We seek a new and equal partnership – between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and ...

Ticker

Lithuania to build fence on Russian border

Lithuania announced on Monday plans to build a 135-kilometre fence on the border with Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave to boost security. It will not be a "Chinese Wall", but a fence which will protect Lithuania from illegal smugglers, interior minister ...

Dutch PM: coalition with Wilders 'not going to happen'

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has ruled out participating in a government with far-right leader Geert Wilders, making it less likely that Wilders becomes prime minister after elections on 15 March. “That is not going to happen,” Rutte told the weekly ...

EU criticises Trump's Israel embassy idea

EU foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini has warned that if Donald Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem it could have “serious consequences”. “It’s very important for us all to refrain from unilateral actions, especially ones that can ...

EU should raise own taxes, says report

The EU should raise its own taxes and use Brexit as an opportunity to push for the idea, a report by a group of top officials says. "Time is ripe for a comprehensive reform of the EU budget," says the report of the high-level group on own resources, also ...

Ticker

Merkel responds to Trump's Brexit jibe

"I think that we Europeans have our fate in our own hands," German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, after US president-elect Donald Trump said in an interview that more countries would leave the EU after Brexit. She said EU member states needed to ...

Trump's anti-Nato views 'astonish' Europe

Germany has said Donald Trump’s remarks on the EU, Nato, and Russia in an interview have caused “astonishment” in Europe. The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said on Monday (16 January) that Trump’s comments would dominate talks by ...

Focus

No opt-outs on migration, says Malta

Outside the Auberge de Castille, the office of Maltese prime ministers in Valletta, a giant marble knot symbolises Malta's position as a link between Europe and Africa. 

It was inaugurated in November 2015 when the Mediterranean island hosted an EU-Africa ...

Britain to issue EU ultimatum on Tuesday

Theresa May aims to tell the EU that she is prepared to quit the single market if she does not get her way in Brexit talks, with one option being to turn the UK into a tax haven. The British leader is to issue the ultimatum at a speech in Lancaster House, ...

Italy's Grillo survives EU parliament fiasco

Seven days of media crossfire about its botched attempt to reposition itself on the European political landscape seem to have done little to dent the electoral appeal of the Five Star Movement (M5S), Italy’s high-flying radical opposition party. Last ...

Ticker

Oxfam: Wealth of eight same as half world's population

Oxfam in a report ahead the World Economic Forum conference said eight men own the wealth of half of the world's population. It noted their combined net wealth is equivalent to the world's poorest 3.6 billion people. Six are from the US and one each from ...

Ticker

Turkish MPs back Erdogan power-grab

MPs in Turkey's parliament on Sunday backed wide-sweeping constitutional changes to bolster president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power. The changes, if approved via a second reading and a referendum, will create an executive presidency, replace the ...

Ticker

Controversial Danish 'jewellery law' used four times

The controversial legislation allowing Danish police to confiscate cash and valuables above 10,000 kroner (€1,345) from arriving migrants and asylum seekers has been used four times only since since it was adopted last January, police figures have shown, ...

Ticker

Serbian president threatens to deploy troops to Kosovo

Serbia's president Tomislav Nikolic said the country would send troops into Kosovo to defend Serbs, if necessary, amid a sharp rise in tensions over the weekend. A train painted in Serbian national colours with the word's "Kosovo is Serbia" was blocked ...