UK in Strasbourg
UK and the UN
The UK Government has been criticised by victims’ groups for failing to contribute to a UN fund for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations staff.
Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
The Kremlin has insisted the UK must prove Russia’s role in the poisoning of a former spy or apologise, as the EU calls on Moscow to provide “full and complete disclosure of its novichok programme” to international experts.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
The Select Committee for Exiting the EU has published a report on the progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal. This recommends that the day of exit may have to be delayed, and this has reportedly split the Tory party.
The Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has published a report calling on the Government to clarify the rules, processes and technical measures that will allow frictionless border arrangements to continue between Ireland and Northern Ireland post-Brexit.
The European Commission published a position paper draft agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The UK and EU have agreed the terms for the Brexit transition period, reported by the Financial Times. This is despite MPs having called on Theresa May to delay Brexit in order to get a better deal with Brussels, though it has allayed fears of a last-minute row over the Irish border question.
MEPs are reportedly confused as the Brexit transition agreement struck between the UK and EU fails to make provision regulating free movement for British citizens, as what was Article 32 in earlier drafts has simply vanished from the agreement.
According to European Council president Donald Tusk, the transition deal agreed between the UK and Brussels will ‘delay all the negative consequences’ of Brexit for nearly two years.
However, Eurosceptic Conservative and DUP MPs have threatened to vote against the final Brexit withdrawal deal due to the transition deal plan to keep the UK in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy until 2020. Meanwhile politicians on both sides of the divide in Scotland have criticised the transition deal as failing to deliver full control over fishing rights.
Discussions have started in Whitehall over who will lead Britain’s trade negotiations with the EU, and how to re-shape departments after March 2019 when the Department for Exiting the EU will be disbanded.
Analysis by Professor Christopher Grey for the UK in a Changing Europe website of the transition agreement suggests it is not far less likely that there will be a ‘cliff edge’ departure in March 2019.
French company Gemalto is set to produce the UK’s new dark blue passports in an irony causing much criticism from some Brexiters.