Brexit

Will London Survive Brexit? by H.Davies | Project Syndicate

building-partnerships

Brexit has set a hungry cat among the financial pigeons of the City of London. No one yet knows what kind of access to the European Union’s single financial market UK-based firms will have, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for a general election to be held on June 8 has further clouded the picture, at least in the short term. But there is a nagging assumption that things cannot remain the same, and that there will be a price to be paid for leaving the EU. So UK-based financial services firms, especially those that have chosen London as their European headquarters precisely in order to secure access to the whole EU market from one location, are reviewing their options. Indeed, regulators are obliging them to do so, by asking how they will maintain continuity of service to their clients in the event of a “hard” Brexit. (May’s government prefers to talk of a “clean” Brexit, but that is semantics). Rival European centers have spotted an opportunity to claw some of this business back to the continent (or to Ireland). Other governments have long resented London’s dominance. It was galling to have to acknowledge that the principal center for trading in euro-denominated instruments lay outside the eurozone.

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Indicative programme – General Affairs Council (Art. 50) of 27 April 2017 | EU Council Press Room

Place:        European Convention Center Luxembourg
Chair:        Louis Grech, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs of Malta

All times are approximate and subject to change

from 09.30
Arrivals (live streaming)

+/- 09.55
Doorstep by Deputy Prime Minister Grech

+/- 11.00
Beginning of Council meeting
 (roundtable)
Draft guidelines following the United Kingdom’s notification under Article 50 TEU

+/- 13.00
Press conference
 (live streaming)

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INVITATION | DEBATE | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test? (April 26)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations as a unity test for the EU with our distinguished speakers Ms Danuta Maria Hubner MEP (EPP/PL), Mr Jo Leinen MEP (S&D/DE), Mr Michael Theurer MEP (ALDE/DE).

The debate will be moderated by Graham Bishop, leading expert in EU and UK Economic, Financial and Government Affairs.

About the debate

While the UK was grappling with internal disagreements on both the timing of the triggering of Article 50 and the establishment of the extent to which the British Parliament should have controlled the Brexit process, the leaders of the EU’s four largest economies organised a meeting in Paris in order to prepare the 25th of March EU summit in Rome and (re) launch the so-called ‘two-speed Europe’ proposal, namely a newly reinvigorated method to forge ahead with integration, while leaving those not on board free to join when they deem it appropriate. These political developments can also have been interpreted as a first reaction to the so-called ‘White Paper’ in which President Juncker outlined the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade and presented five scenarios according to which the European Union could evolve by 2025, depending on how it will respond.

In fact, as massive attention has focused on the possible economic impacts of the Brexit referendum on both the UK and the EU, how the EU bloc itself might change will probably prove to be the most important outcome of this particular political and institutional momentum that the old continent is undergoing. Not without controversy, the Rome summit declaration acknowledged, both in tone and content, the need to ‘act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction’, whereas particular emphasis was given to the question of unity by stating that the European Union is ‘undivided and indivisible’. Indeed, the issue stemming from this last question will be of crucial importance for the achievement of a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable Europe, which should play a major role at a global level in the years to come.

If the so–called ‘populist movements’ have shaken up the political narrative as well as the public debates both at EU and national level, they do not seem for the time in a position to gain sufficient power to lead to a radical change of Europe’s political and institutional landscape. However, it is not possible to exclude such a scenario becoming reality in the future, if change does not occur fairly soon. Within this context, the possible implementation of the ‘two-speed Europe’ process, the Brexit negotiations, as well as the European Union capacity to adapt to the current circumstances remain elements of capital importance for the years to come. Will the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations constitute a combined unity test?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 26th of April at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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Brexit: MEPs agree on key conditions for approving UK withdrawal agreement | European Parliament – Press room

An overwhelming majority of the house (516 votes in favour, 133 against, with 50 abstentions) adopted a resolution officially laying down the European Parliament’s key principles and conditions for its approval of the UK’s withdrawal agreement. Any such agreement at the end of UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.

MEPs stress the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. They also point out that the UK remains an EU member until its official departure, and that this entails rights but also obligations, including financial commitments which may run beyond the withdrawal date.

The resolution warns against any trade-off between security and the future EU-UK economic relationship, opposes any sort of cherry picking or a piecemeal economic relationship based on sector-specific deals, and reiterates the indivisibility of the four freedoms of the single market – free movement of goods, capital, services, and people.

Finally, the resolution says that only when “substantial progress” has been made in talks on how the UK is to leave the EU can discussions begin on possible transitional arrangements. These arrangements must not last longer than three years, while an agreement on a future relationship can only be concluded once the UK has left the EU.

Citizens first

Citizens’ interests must be at the forefront right from the beginning, says the resolution, which goes on to note that Irish citizens “will be particularly affected”. MEPs urge all parties to remain committed to the Northern Ireland peace process and avoid a hard border. The special circumstances presented by this situation must therefore be addressed as a matter of priority in the withdrawal agreement.

The resolution also warns the UK against any attempt to limit rights linked to the freedom of movement before it effectively withdraws from the EU and asks the EU-27 to examine how to address the fear of British citizens that Brexit will lead to the loss of their current EU citizenship rights.

Negotiating principles

MEPs call for both sides to act in good faith and full transparency so as to ensure an orderly exit.

The resolution notes that it would be a breach of EU law for the UK to negotiate trade agreements with third countries before it left the EU, and warns against the UK engaging in bilateral talks with one or some EU member states on the withdrawal proceedings or the EU-UK future relationship.

Continued obligations

The UK will continue to enjoy its rights as a member of the EU until its departure.  At the same time, however, it will also have to shoulder its obligations, including financial obligations stemming inter alia from the current long-term EU budget. Such financial commitments could run beyond the date of departure, the resolution adds.

European Parliament closely involved

The European Parliament intends to build on the elements set out in this resolution as the negotiations develop, for example by adopting further resolutions, including on specific matters or sector-specific issues, the resolution says.

Plenary debate on Brexit before the vote

Earlier, leaders of the European Parliament political groups debated their priorities in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The crucial role of MEPs during the negotiations was underlined by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who also took part in the debate.

Opening the debate, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said that “Parliament’s vote will be decisive for the final outcome of the conditions for the UK’s withdrawal and for future EU-UK relations. The recent terrorist attacks make it clear that all European countries will need to continue working closely with each other.”

The debate showed wide cross-party support for giving top priority to protecting the interests of the citizens most affected by Brexit. The majority of group leaders also underlined that whereas it was important for the talks to take place in a serene atmosphere, the EU 27 would need to remain united and strongly defend their own interests.  All left-leaning groups also said that maintaining high levels of social protection would be a top priority for them.

Several leaders stressed that Brexit must serve as a catalyst for renewing the EU in that it demonstrates how intrinsically bound together the member states are.

Leaders of the EFDD and ENF groups rejoiced at the launch of the withdrawal process and accused the EU of seeking to “punish” the UK.

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SAVE THE DATE | The ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations: a combined unity test? (April 26)

We are delighted to invite you to the debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Wednesday the 26th of April at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The event will consist of a debate about the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations as a unity test for the EU. Untitled

Although speakers and event details will be specified in the coming days, we are announcing this event now to make sure you save the date.

registerForEvent

About the debate

While the UK was grappling with internal disagreements on both the timing of the triggering of Article 50 and the establishment of the extent to which the British Parliament should have controlled the Brexit process, the leaders of the EU’s four largest economies organised a meeting in Paris in order to prepare the 25th of March EU summit in Rome and (re) launch the so-called ‘two-speed Europe’ proposal, namely a newly reinvigorated method to forge ahead with integration, while leaving those not on board free to join when they deem it appropriate. These political developments can also have been interpreted as a first reaction to the so-called ‘White Paper’ in which President Juncker outlined the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade and presented five scenarios according to which the European Union could evolve by 2025, depending on how it will respond.

In fact, as massive attention has focused on the possible economic impacts of the Brexit referendum on both the UK and the EU, how the EU bloc itself might change will probably prove to be the most important outcome of this particular political and institutional momentum that the old continent is undergoing. Not without controversy, the Rome summit declaration acknowledged, both in tone and content, the need to ‘act together, at different paces and intensity where necessary, while moving in the same direction’, whereas particular emphasis was given to the question of unity by stating that the European Union is ‘undivided and indivisible’. Indeed, the issue stemming from this last question will be of crucial importance for the achievement of a safe, secure, prosperous and sustainable Europe, which should play a major role at a global level in the years to come.

If the so–called ‘populist movements’ have shaken up the political narrative as well as the public debates both at EU and national level, they do not seem for the time in a position to gain sufficient power to lead to a radical change of Europe’s political and institutional landscape. However, it is not possible to exclude such a scenario becoming reality in the future, if change does not occur fairly soon. Within this context, the possible implementation of the ‘two-speed Europe’ process, the Brexit negotiations, as well as the European Union capacity to adapt to the current circumstances remain elements of capital importance for the years to come. Will the ‘two-speed Europe’ project and the Brexit negotiations constitute a combined unity test?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 26th of April at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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President Tusk calls a European Council on Brexit for 29 April | European Council – Press Release

“In view of what was announced in London yesterday, I would like to inform you that I will call a European Council, in an EU27 format (without the UK), on Saturday 29th April 2017 to adopt the guidelines for the Brexit talks,” said President Tusk at the press briefing with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on 21 March 2017.

“As you all know, I personally wish the UK hadn’t chosen to leave the EU, but the majority of British voters decided otherwise. Therefore, we must do everything we can to make the process of divorce the least painful for the EU, ” said Tusk.

He highlighted that the main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit as well as for the Eu’s important partners and friends around the world.

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European Council preparations and rights of EU citizens in the UK | European Parliament – Press Release

MEPs will hold two separate debates on Wednesday afternoon to provide input ahead of the next European Council and to raise concerns regarding the possible undermining of the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

During the debate ahead of the European Council, MEPs will present their priorities for the key issues to the Commission and Council representatives, such as on the economy, jobs, migration, defence and the future of Europe.

In the second debate MEPs will ask the Commission about recent numbers on residence applications, residence refusals and expulsions of EU nationals from the UK, as fears grow that EU citizens’ rights may be being breached.

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INVITATION | Debate | Will the year 2017 be a defining moment for the EU? (February 28)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on  the challenges the EU will be faced with in 2017 with our distinguished speakers Mr Markus Ferber MEP (EPP/DE), Mr Reinhard Butikofer MEP (Greens/DE), Mr Brando Benifei MEP (S&D/ITA) and Mr Pawel Swieboda, Deputy Head of the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC).


The debate will be moderated by Chris Burns, longtime journalist and moderator 

With the kind support of

Burnstorm

About the debate

If Europe’s 2015 underlying features were the dragging on of the “Greek crisis‟ and the Eurozone macroeconomic imbalances, the main issues of the year 2016 have been the EU referendum and the refugee crisis. For the year 2017, along with the still standing neologism “Brexit‟, the keyword will most likely be “Populism‟. Although the interpretation and the possible consequences of this relatively new phenomenon vary according to the analytical approach adopted, it appears that this year Europe will not only be challenged in its capacity to react or contain a given emergency, but also in the way it will be able to regain cohesion and citizens’ trust. From the stand point of both EU institutions – national governments included – and the consolidation of the EU project itself, such evidence emerges despite the fact that the European and international economic outlook is finally improving. Indeed, finalising some of the most important long-standing issues related to the deepening of its integration process, the elaboration of new narratives or, at least, the setting up of an effective level-playing field will be crucial factors for Europe to give clear, tangible and positively-perceived responses to Europe’s (re)current challenges.

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European Commission hosts second technical seminar on Article 50 Negotiations | European Commission – Announcements

The European Commission is today hosting a technical seminar on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom. Mr. Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the UK, will chair the meeting, which includes senior officials from the EU27 Member States, the European Parliament and the Secretariat of the Council of the EU. The aim of the meeting is to create a common understanding of the key issues that need to be included in an orderly withdrawal agreement and will build on what was discussed at the previous seminar of 29 November 2016. In particular, today’s seminar will focus on issues surrounding the financial settlement and citizens’ rights.

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SAVE THE DATE | Debate | Will the year 2017 be a defining moment for the EU? (February 28)

We are delighted to invite you to the debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Tuesday the 28th of February at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The event will consist of a debate about the challenges the EU will be faced with in 2017.

Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we are announcing this event now to make sure you save the date.

registerForEvent

 

About the debate

If Europe’s 2015 underlying features were the dragging on of the “Greek crisis‟ and the Eurozone macroeconomic imbalances, the main issues of the year 2016 have been the EU referendum and the refugee crisis. For the year 2017, along with the still standing neologism “Brexit‟, the keyword will most likely be “Populism‟. Although the interpretation and the possible consequences of this relatively new phenomenon vary according to the analytical approach adopted, it appears that this year Europe will not only be challenged in its capacity to react or contain a given emergency, but also in the way it will be able to regain cohesion and citizens’ trust. From the stand point of both EU institutions – national governments included – and the consolidation of the EU project itself, such evidence emerges despite the fact that the European and international economic outlook is finally improving. Indeed, finalising some of the most important long-standing issues related to the deepening of its integration process, the elaboration of new narratives or, at least, the setting up of an effective level-playing field will be crucial factors for Europe to give clear, tangible and positively-perceived responses to Europe’s (re)current challenges.

Up until the UK’s referendum much of the criticism about Europe was notably concentrated on the EU internal economic or institutional deficiency factors. Whereas, the refugee crisis sparked a substantial amount of disagreement, Brexit was rubber stamped by UK citizens and while the recent changing of the guard at the White House is taking place, it appears that the highest amount of pressure on Europe will come from the parallel-but-increasingly-convergent evolutions of the European and global political environment. This context unsurprisingly fits with a relatively recent Commission study which elaborated three scenarios to determine where the EU might arguably be in 2050. While the first two scenarios indicate that Europe, although to different extents, may become increasingly inward-looking and fragmented, the third scenario describes a much more attractive future which should allow the EU to prosper by choosing a pathway of greater integration.

During the last year, several observers warned about the possibility that a “perfect storm‟ would have torn the European project apart, however, as also recently reaffirmed by President Juncker, the European Union existence is not in doubt, but European institutions are faced with a last chance phase “as the gulf between European citizens and the EU political action is growing ever wider”. In line with this statement, several commentators have remarked that the European Union is perceived as an agent of insecurity rather than security. However, while some are pointing at Europe’s political risk linked to the several incoming national elections, others insist on Europe’s insufficient governance ability. Whatever the correct analysis might be, the question whether this year will unfold a change, a standstill or even a worsening of the current situation remains in Europe’s spotlight. Will the year 2017 be a defining moment for the EU?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed.

For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debates there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 28th of February at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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