Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
According to a review by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, the UK’s aid interventions designed to address irregular migration through the central Mediterranean are currently some distance from making a measureable impact. Considering this review, PoliticsHome has stated that Britain is inadvertently harming Libyan migrants seeking refuge in Europe through its aid programme.
British intelligence officials have denied an allegation repeated by Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, that the UK helped former president Barack Obama ‘wiretap’ Donald Trump during the 2016 election, condemning it as ‘utterly ridiculous’.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Prior to the return of the Brexit bill to the House of Commons, The Guardian considered the possible timelines for the triggering of art 50, whilst the Financial Times considered the great unknowns of Brexit.
Prior to the MP vote on the amendments made to the Brexit bill by the Lords, the Financial Times reported that the rebel MPs stated they were unlikely to block the PM from triggering the Brexit process. In line with this, the Commons voted down the amendments and then the Lords passed the Bill, opening the way to triggering art 50.
The Queen has now signed the art 50 bill into law, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave the EU.
The Labour Lords are intending to bring two motions secure greater influence over Theresa May’s Brexit and secure the rights of EU citizens in the UK, including through initiating a new joint committee including Lords and MPs to work out how, when and why Parliament should vote on the final Brexit deal.
The Financial Times has argued that the EU’s antagonistic stance on Brexit divorce bill and conditions does not bode well for negotiations, and risks Brussels’ reputation.
Theresa May will reportedly seek to appease concerns over inclusion of devolved administrations in EU talks and ease tensions with the Scottish Government by touring the UK.
The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee have produced a detailed analysis of what would happen if there were a breakdown in talks. Donald Tusk has warned that the EU will not be intimidated by threats about the UK leaving with no deal. Meanwhile David Davis has stated that there has been no analysis of the potential economic fallout for the UK from leaving the EU with no deal since he became Brexit Secretary.
A paper written by The Institute for Government and The UK in a Changing Europe analyses the challenges facing the civil service and the capacity requirements that must be managed, over the course of Brexit.
Senior EU diplomats have disclosed that, now that Theresa May intends to trigger art 50 at the end of March, UK-EU negotiations are unlikely to start until June.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to visit Paris as goodwill ambassadors for Britain ahead of the triggering of art 50, whilst Charles and Camilla are also preparing for art 50 diplomacy.