April 21, 2019
Latest News
European Union

British MEPs work surrounded by removal boxes amid Brexit limbo

By Lara Malvesí

Brusells, Apr. 7 (efe-epa).- Amid Brexit uncertainty and rising levels of anxiety, British members of the European parliament live in a sort of limbo, the labor party leader in Europe told EFE Sunday.

Richard Corbett's, office has been taken over by cardboard boxes as he has started to pack away his files in preparation for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union.

"Sure there's a lot of uncertainty, you can see where we've packed our boxes because a week before we were leaving and now it may be next week or maybe not," Corbett told EFE.

"We don't know but while we are still here most of us are fighting to remain," the Labour MEP continued.

"When you became a European civil servant you left your nationality at the door," Corbett added.

Richard Ashworth, a conservative politician told EFE that he was sad about Brexit, but that above all he lamented the humiliating way in which Westminster and Downing Street had dealt with the crisis.

Just days before the March 29 deadline, the date that would have seen the UK leave the bloc had Parliament approved the prime minister's withdrawal agreement, 73 UK MEPs were given 15 cardboard boxes to start packing up their belongings.

But like Brexit, the move was delayed, at least until Apr. 12 which is when the UK is due to leave the EU.

Amid the Westminster-Brussels back and forth, UK MEPs have much more quotidian concerns such as: what to do in the coming years? Or whether rental contracts for their Brussels homes should be canceled?

There has also been a considerable brain-drain from the UK headquarters in the European de-facto capital.

Many personnel, including some parliamentarians and several advisors, have left and sought other jobs amid the uncertainty of it all.

"Almost every day the prediction from the previous day seems to change, so perhaps by the time we finish this interview the situation will have changed," Corbett joked.

The Labour politician has spent the last 20 years in Europe and he sees many positives to the freedom of movement and trade across the bloc.

"50 years ago very few people drank wine in Britain it was always beer. Now everybody drinks wine with their meals or afterward," Corbett said.

"Just that example shows that the greater variety of choices you have with the pluralism of cultures in Europe and the exchanges we have, that's been very beneficial for everybody," the politician added.

The experience has been a learning curve for Corbett who adds that in the EP disagreements are rarely based on nationality, but on political ideology and philosophy.

If anything, he adds, his long stint in European institutions has served as a reminder that Europeans have much in common.

Both Ashworth and Corbett said that if Article 50 were to be revoked, resulting in a cancellation of Brexit, or a long extension to the divorce granted, they would both stand for EU elections which are set to take place between May 23-26.

On his part, Ashworth said he could never have imagined that when he started his mandate in Europe in 2014 that it could be his last.

"Of course I feel European," he said. "And above all I am English. What is the conflict?" he asked.

When asked what his next steps would be should the UK leave, Corbett jokingly answered.

"I'm saving up to buy a horse to ride away into the sunset." EFE-epa

lmi/ch

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.