Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Brexit is political poison, and it’s green policies that are suffering | Molly Scott Cato

The spat over VAT on solar batteries shows how Brussels-bashing is taking precedence over urgent social priorities

• Molly Scott Cato is a Green MEP

As pro-European MEPs we grow weary of the government claiming credit for European achievements while blaming Brussels for its own inaction or mismanagement. The capping of credit card charges is a sterling example. We battled for this in the European parliament while our government tried to block the move in the European council. Once passed, and finding that customers rather liked the idea of lower bills, ministers claimed the credit, suggesting that “rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain”.

Conversely, finger wagging at Brussels to deflect from British government failure is a well-rehearsed strategy. The latest blame game is about household solar batteries, which HMRC claims must be subject to the higher rate of VAT because of EU state aid rules. So let’s firmly hit the off switch on the misinformation being peddled on this issue and get to the truth of the matter.

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Jeremy Hunt says Boris Johnson can’t be trusted on Brexit

Foreign secretary says Conservative leadership rival cannot fulfil promises

Jeremy Hunt has suggested there is “no trust” in Boris Johnson to fulfil his promises on Brexit, telling the BBC he believes he has the better personality to be prime minister.

Speaking after a war of words with his Conservative leadership rival, whom Hunt branded a coward for turning down a debate with him on Sky News on Tuesday night, Hunt said 31 October was a “fake deadline” and could lead to a snap general election.

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Germany ‘will talk to the last hour’ to avoid no-deal Brexit

UK ambassador says Berlin is willing to hear fresh ideas for Irish border problem

Germany will fight to the last hour to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal and is willing to hear any fresh ideas for the Irish border backstop, the country’s ambassador to the UK has said.

Speaking at a car manufacturers’ summit in London, Peter Wittig said Germany cherished its relationship with the UK and was ready to talk about solutions the new prime minister might have for the Irish border problem.

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Brexit: Johnson says Britain will leave EU on 31 October ‘do or die’

Tory leadership frontrunner vows to push for no deal if necessary to meet deadline

Boris Johnson has pledged that the UK will leave the European Union on 31 October “do or die”, as he promised to push for a no-deal Brexit if this was needed to meet the departure deadline.

Johnson told TalkRadio that tweaks to the withdrawal agreement or political declaration agreed by Theresa May with the EU would not be enough.

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Brexit weekly briefing: Johnson’s final battle with Hunt beset with evasion

Former London mayor’s row with partner becomes focus of leadership bid

Welcome to the Guardian’s weekly Brexit briefing, doing its best to make sense of all this nonsense since June 2016. If you would like to receive this as a weekly email, please sign up here. And you can catch our monthly Brexit Means … podcast here.

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Labour MPs asked by party if they will stand at next general election

Contentious new rules means party’s MPs must navigate trigger-ballot process

Labour MPs have been given a fortnight to decide whether they want to stand again for parliament as the party gears up for an early general election by kicking off what some fear could turn into a wave of deselections.

Those MPs who want to continue to represent their constituency in future must first navigate the trigger-ballot process. After a contentious rule-change at last year’s Labour conference, that means commanding the support of two-thirds of local party branches and two-thirds of affiliated trade union branches.

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Javid suggests post-Brexit migration salary rules could vary by region

Home secretary seeks review of system that would end EU citizens’ free movement

Migrants coming to the UK could face varying minimum salary thresholds depending on where they live under proposals put out for review by the home secretary, Sajid Javid.

The white paper on post-Brexit immigration policy, published in December, included a to-be-determined minimum salary threshold for high-skilled workers. The current minimum salary for most experienced workers coming from non-EU countries is £30,000.

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