Saturday, 16 February, 2019

European Union parliamentarians to back visa-free travel for Britons after Brexit

An anti Brexit protester weeps but feelings are strong on both sides An anti-Brexit protester weeps but feelings are strong on both sides More
Anna Jefferson | 31 January, 2019, 08:27

Not all amendments will be put to a vote, with Commons Speaker John Bercow to make the selection on Tuesday morning, with votes cast from 7:00 pm (1900 GMT).

It is not a rerun of the January 15 vote on whether to approve May's Brexit deal, but a chance to discover what sort of changes would be required to win the support of parliament, so the prime minister can try to renegotiate the agreement in Brussels.

The Conservative prime minister was expected to put forward a Plan B, but has stuck doggedly to her guns trying to build support for a revised version of her original blueprint.

Weber said: "If there is now a unilateral attempt to reopen the agreement, the effect will be that not just the backstop has to be renegotiated - then the Gibraltar question, the question of how much money Britain has to pay for exiting, the question of citizens' rights will have to be renegotiated".

Or does she tie herself to the mast of Morgan/Baker, knowing it is the route to a no-deal Brexit and the probable collapse of her government?

Declaring herself "queasy" at the enthusiasm of Russian President Vladimir Putin for Brexit, Lady Manningham-Buller said a range of security threats - from terrorism to Russian interference - were best dealt with "in a European context".

As MPs prepared for a crucial series of Commons votes which could shape the next phase of talks with the EU, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox indicated Mrs May was ready to reopen the Agreement in order to secure a legally-binding text.

Speaking hours before the vote, May beseeched parliament to reject any amendment that would take the prospect of a no-deal Brexit off the table.

"It has robbed Parliament of the opportunity, the wide canvas to give us to work with to prevent that no deal from happening, and we've got a government which has basically been taken hostage by the right wing of the Conservative Party that is quite happy for that scenario potentially occurring", he said. She has also warned MPs that if Britain succeeded in reopening discussions about the backstop, the European Union could press for changes to parts of the agreement that benefit Britain.

U.S. Government charges Huawei with stealing T-Mobile’s trade secrets
Prosecutors also claimed that Huawei sought to impede investigation on the matter by des‌troyi‌ng or concealing evidence. Numerous 23 charges relate to Huawei's alleged dealings with Iran, which is the subject of U.S. economic sanctions.

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Heating oil lost 2.9 percent, to $1.84 a gallon, and natural gas dropped 8.4 percent, to $2.91 per 1,000 cubic feet. Economic growth in Europe slowed in the last half of 2018 and indicators at the start of this year have been weak.

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Speaking at an event in Brussels, deputy to the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, said other options for the Irish border had been extensively discussed and referred to the months-long negotiations with her United Kingdom counterparts.

She was not specific on what the alternative arrangements to the backstop might be.

Labour said it was supporting the amendment because the bill it would create could "give MPs a temporary window to agree a deal that can bring the country together".

Senior Brexiteer Sir Bernard Jenkin said he did not intend to back it, telling ITV News: "It's very vague and it's deliberately vague because it's meant to mean different things to different people".

The DUP's Sammy Wilson said Mrs May should "exploit the cracks which are emerging in the illogical position of the European Union and the Irish".

DUP leader Arlene Foster - whose 10 MPs prop up the minority Conservative administration in the Commons - said the plan provided a "feasible" alternative to the backstop.

Commission vice-president Jyrki Kateinen said it would be "a stupid thing" for the European Union to make concessions putting the remaining 27 members at a disadvantage simply to secure a deal. It will be "extraordinarily difficult" for the U.K.to win concessions or remove the backstop unless it moves its own red lines, the official said.

Ms Weyand told a Brussels conference that negotiation on the Withdrawal Agreement was "finished". But she vowed to go to Brussels and seek "significant and legally binding change" to the backstop.

Among the amendments to be voted, if received green light from the parliament speaker John Bercow today, will be the one prepared by Labour MP Yvette Cooper that will ask MPs to delay the Brexit date for up to 9 months if a deal can not be ratified until February 26.

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