August 26, 2019
Latest News
European Union

UK's May dismisses Corbyn's offer to maintain custom's union post-Brexit

 British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to speak to the press after a meeting with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 7, 2019. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to speak to the press after a meeting with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 7, 2019. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

London, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister has on Monday ruled out making a key concession requested by the country's opposition leader to keep the country in a customs union with the European Union as a way to soften Brexit.

On Sunday, Conservative Party leader Theresa May responded to Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn's five-point list of proposed concessions the prime minister could make to secure his party's backing when her withdrawal deal is once against put to a vote in the House of Commons, the UK's lower chamber of lawmaking, where MPs have a final say in a so-called meaningful vote.

"We are absolutely clear on this: we're not considering Jeremy Corbyn's customs proposals; we're not considering any proposals to remain in the customs union. We must have our own, independent trade policy," a spokesperson for the prime minister said, adding that the Tory leader would update parliament on the state of Brexit on Tuesday.

The PM has taken the withdrawal deal back to Brussels in search of further negotiations after the Commons overwhelmingly rejected in a vote and later passed an amendment requiring her to seek alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop, a safety net clause to protect the open border in Ireland should talks on the future relationship with the EU collapse.

Hardline Tories and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's minority executive in the Commons, both took issue with the backstop, saying it could either lock the UK into EU regulations indefinitely or subject Northern Ireland to a separate customs arrangement to that of the rest of the UK.

The Tory leader remained adamant that she could secure changes to the backstop in the withdrawal deal, the legally-binding result of over two years of negotiations with Brussels despite the EU's repeated warnings the deal would not be reopened.

They offered instead to edit the wording in the political declaration, a non-legally-binding text adjoining the withdrawal deal, which acts as a statement of goodwill.

Corbyn, whose shadow cabinet is left-leaning, had written to May urging her to outline a UK-wide customs union to avoid job disruption and to avoid problems with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the open status of which is enshrined in a 1998 international peace deal that helped end decades of conflict and terror in the region.

For many in Northern Ireland's complex social make-up, where some sections of the population identify as British coming from mainly Protestant areas and some as Irish coming from mainly Catholic areas, the open border not only benefits trade but is a symbol of peace between communities.

A hard border has not been seen in Ireland since the time of the Troubles conflict, in which over 3,500 people died.

The UK is due to leave the EU on Mar. 29, almost three years after the UK electorate narrowly voted in favor of leaving the bloc.

News history

By Jesus Centeno

Vienna, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- Discrimination, racism, inequality, child poverty. The European Union is still the scene of serious violations of fundamental...

Design guru's exit marks Apple shift from products to services

By Tripp Mickle

Heatwave triggers vast wildfire in northeast Spain that engulfs 13,600 acres

Tarragona, Spain, Jun 27 (efe-epa).- A heatwave that has engulfed Western Europe in recent days has kindled the first serious wildfires in Spain this year...

From NY's Stonewall revolt to old age frailty, back to closet

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

US oil exports jump due to turmoil in Mideast

By Ryan Dezember

Stocks: Defense shares surge on spending

New York (USA), Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The United States may have held off on an airstrike against Iran in favor of sanctions, but US stock investors are...

Iran says new US sanctions end any chance of diplomacy

By Sune Engel Rasmussen in Beirut, Aresu Eqbali in Tehran and Dov Lieber in Jerusalem

Repairs to Harry and Meghan's new home cost UK taxpayers $2.8 million

Madrid, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- The official home that Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has given to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was refurbished using...

3 Chinese banks deny being probed by US in relation to North Korea sanctions

Beijing, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Three Chinese banks have denied that they were involved in any investigation related to possible violations of North Korea...

Revote in Istanbul rebukes Erdogan

By David Gauthier-Villars

Mercedes dominant in practice ahead of French F1 GP, finishing 1-2 twice

Paul Ricard Circuit (France), Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Mercedes put on a dominant performance in both free practice sessions at the Circuit Paul Ricard race track...

Apple explores shift away from China

By Yoko Kubota and Tripp Mickle

Real Madrid reinforces its defense with new signing Mendy

Madrid, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid reinforced its defensive lineup with the inclusion of France left-back Ferland Mendy who was presented to fans at the...

What to know about Libra cryptocurrency

New York (USA), Jun 19 (efe-epa).-Facebook just disclosed the first details of its long-anticipated cryptocurrency, called Libra, according to a Dow Jones...

Real Madrid unveils new forward Rodrygo: I hope to make Madrid fans happy

Madrid, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid unveiled the latest component of its new squad for the upcoming season, Brazilian forward Rodrygo, at its Santiago...

Former UEFA president Platini held over awarding 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar

Paris, Jun 18 (EFE).- Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested on suspicion of corruption linked to a decision to award the 2022 World Cup to...

US says Israel not invited to Bahrain Conference

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The White House said it won't invite the Israeli government to the unveiling of the economic part of its Israeli-Palestinian...

North Korea lobs insults at US but shields Trump

Seoul, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- A year after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's historic first meeting with President Donald Trump, his government is once again...

China biotech companies poach US talent

Hong Kong (China) Jun 17 (efe-epa).- China-based biotechnology startups looking to go global are poaching talent from the biggest American pharmaceutical...

Toyota in pole at Le Mans with Kobayashi driving, Alonso, 2nd, dreams of win

Le Mans (France), Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The driver Kamui Kobayashi secured pole position in his Toyota TS050 ahead of 24 hours of Le Mans, leaving second-place...

HSBC boosts role as Saudi banker

By Rory Jones in Dubai and Margot Patrick in London

Nintendo shifts some production from China

By Takashi Mochizuki

Pepsi executive picked to lead UK's Reckitt

By Saabira Chaudhuri

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.