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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Britain - the Brexit drama: UK PM Johnson sends conflicting messages to EU on Brexit delay request

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a delay to Brexit but he also sent another message in which he stated he did not want the extension, a government source said.

Johnson was compelled by a law, passed by opponents last month, to ask the bloc for an extension to the current Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 until Jan. 31 after lawmakers thwarted his attempt to pass his EU divorce deal earlier on Saturday.

The government source said Johnson sent a total of three letters to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council: a photocopy of the text that the law, known as the Benn Act, forced him to write; a cover note from Britain's EU envoy; and a third letter in which he said he did not want an extension.

As Parliament met in London Saturday morning and voted to force a Brexit delay, hundreds of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters marched in the city’s streets demanding citizens be given a second chance at deciding whether to leave the European Union. 
The massive crowds moved through the city towards Parliament in a festive and defiant demonstration of frustration with the country’s impending break with the EU, the New York Times reported.

Organizers of the effort told the Times they expected more than a million demonstrators, which would make it one of the largest protests Britain has ever had.
The demonstrators were joined by a host of current and former politicians, as well as celebrities, who addressed the crowd. In his speech, former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine said Brexit represents “a creeping paralysis, where yesterday’s nostalgia distorts tomorrow’s opportunities”.

Note EU-Digest: Boris Johnson by politically manuevering in a very devious and undemocratic way, without letting the people have a final say on the agreement he reached with the EU, is taking Britain on a disastrous destructive path, from which they probably will never recover .

Read more at: UK PM Johnson sends conflicting messages to EU on Brexit delay request

Saturday, October 19, 2019

EU - US relations: US can expect counter measures after tariff move

The EU said Friday it "regrets" the US decision to impose tariffs over the WTO's ruling on illegal subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

It leaves the EU with "no alternative but to follow through in due course with our own tariffs" in a similar case involving Boeing, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said . "The European Commission is committed to defending European companies, farmers and consumers," she added.

Read more at: EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move

Thursday, October 17, 2019

EU-Britain: Brexit Deal in Brussels, but British Parliament has the last say, and that is not sure at all

Britain and the European Union on Thursday agreed on the draft text of a Brexit deal, setting up a fateful showdown in the British Parliament on Saturday, where it was not clear that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could marshal the votes to nail down his plan after three anguished and politically damaging years of debate.

But Mr. Johnson may already be thinking beyond whether Parliament approves his plan. Even if he loses, analysts say, he may call for a general election, hoping voters will rally behind him and deliver him a strong majority.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Brexit - Britain - EU: Michael Barnier gives three possible scenarios

The European Union's Brexit negotiator told the 27 EU states staying on together that he saw three possible scenarios ahead:

1) A deal with Britain later on Tuesday
2) Another delay to Britain's departure
3) A "breakdown" of talks

This is according to EU diplomats.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Communications - 5G: New German rules leave 5G telecoms door open to Huawei

Germany has finalised rules for the build-out of 5G mobile networks that, in a snub to the United States, will not exclude China’s Huawei Technologies.

Government officials confirmed that Germany’s so-called security catalogue foresaw an evaluation of technical and other criteria, but that no single vendor would be barred in order to create a level playing field for equipment vendors.

“We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference in Berlin on Monday.

New German rules leave 5G telecoms door open to Huawei –