April 21, 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
2 arrested on suspicion of being linked to journalist's death in N. Ireland

London, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Two teenage men have been arrested on suspicion of having shot and killed a journalist who had been observing disturbances in the...

Ukrainian presidential campaign ends with heated debate in soccer stadium

Kiev, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- The president of Ukraine and his main rival in the upcoming national elections, a comedian who has been leading the pre-poll...

Bullfighters, soldiers, TV personalities, the new faces of Spanish politics

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

France launches architectural competition to replace Notre Dame spire

Paris, Apr 17 (efe-epa).-The French government has launched an international architectural competition aimed at rebuilding a spire on Paris’ iconic Notre...

Firefighters: Notre Dame fire out, French president pledges reconstruction

Paris, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Paris firefighters tackling a blaze that partially destroyed the city's iconic Notre Dame Cathedral said on Tuesday the flames...

American Airlines to boost Boeing 737 MAX training

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- American Airlines Group Inc., after saying for months that its pilots didn't need additional ground-simulator experience...

Juncker: No Brexit extension beyond Oct. 31, UK must run in EU elections

Strasbourg (France), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The European Union is not likely to extend the Brexit negotiation period beyond the current – and already delayed –...

Investors suffer a smoking relapse

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Much like die-hard smokers, investors are finding it hard to stay away from cigarettes, according to a Dow Jones...

Notre-Dame heavily damaged by fire, but building appears to have been saved

Paris, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the culmination of Gothic architecture, on Monday suffered a devastating fire that...

Rumors transmitted on WhatsApp hinder vaccinations in India

New Delhi, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Antivaccine misinformation, some of it from social media posts in the West, is spreading in India on WhatsApp, undermining...

Pakistan rights watchdog urges UN to probe extrajudicial killings

Islamabad, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Monday urged the United Nations to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings...

India carrier Jet Airways cuts international flights

Mumbai (India), Apr 15 (efe-epa).- India's Jet Airways has drastically reduced operations as it looks for an investor to purchase a controlling stake in the...

Ecuador jilted Assange as it strengthened US ties

London, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's diplomatic protection of Julian Assange once allowed the small Andean nation's leftist government to antagonize its...

A new generation of politicians to battle it out in Spanish general elections

By Jesús Lozano

Bletchley Park, the laboratory of geniuses who read Hitler's mind

By Patricia Rodríguez

Anxiety seeps from Tetsuya Ishida's art in first European retrospective

Madrid, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Tetsuya Ishida's career was cut short when he died at the tender age of 31 but his surreal existential canvasses offer a glimpse...

First ever photo of supermassive black hole revealed

Brussels, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The first-ever image of a supermassive black hole loitering at the heart of the Milky Way was unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels...

Malmstrom says EU wants to avoid escalation of tensions with US

Tokyo, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The European Union's trade commissioner said on Wednesday that the EU wants to avoid an escalation in trade tensions with the...

Egyptian aims to break record with 100 putty figures of celebrities

By Carles Grau Sivera

EU and China in 'breakthrough' trade talks on World Trade Organization reform

Brussels, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The European Union and China have strengthened their relationship in “breakthrough” trade talks at a summit on Tuesday and...

May seeks support for Brexit delay ahead of EU Council summit

Berlin, Apr 9 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister on Tuesday visited the German chancellor in another last-minute Brexit trip.

Russia to go ahead with controversial Turkey missile sale

Moscow, Apr 8 (efe-epa).- Russia has Monday pledged to continue with the sale of military weapons to Turkey, including an anti-aircraft missile deal that...

Russia to release whales following Cousteau mediation

Moscow, Apr. 8 (efe-epa).- Nearly 100 animals that have been held in dreadful conditions in a "whale jail" in eastern Russia will be released into the wild,...

Japanese robot manufacturer: automation will not destroy jobs

Kocevje (Slovenia), Apr 8 (efe-epa).- A Japanese robot manufacturer that has launched its first factory in Europe said Monday that the use of artificial...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.