Katya Adler Profile picture
BBC Europe Editor
LittleGravitas — 🇪🇺 💚 💙 #FBPE Profile picture AlanLB 🦋 ⚖ 🦋 Profile picture Chris🌟 😷 #TakeBackBritain #RejoinEU #FBPE💙 Profile picture sl-xf Profile picture DLlewellyn Profile picture 26 added to My Authors
25 Nov
Is France right when it accuses UK of being too soft on - and therefore a magnet for - people arriving without legal papers? Earlier this year Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a 3 point plan to be ‘tough but fair’: To a)support those in genuine need via safe & legal routes /1
b) break the life-threatening business of criminal people smugglers. c) make it easier to remove illegal arrivals with no right to be in UK. Financial support per day for those waiting for asylum claims to be processed is, according to lawyers, higher in France than UK and /2
In UK +France migrants found working illegally can face a prison sentence. Paris accuses UK of being lax in enforcing regulations and of deporting 4x fewer illegal migrants per year than France. That, it says would act as more of a deterrent. UK government defends its record /3
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
France’s Interior Minister has tried to throw the ball back into UK’s court this morning after tragic deaths of at least 27 on a people smuggler’s dinghy crossing Channel to Britain. UK government has accused France of not doing enough to stop boats leaving French shores but /1
Minister Darmanin criticised the UK immigration system. He said France expels four times the number of illegal arrivals (found to have no claim to asylum) per year than the UK. He also said the UK labour market was perceived as easy to access by migrants without legal papers /2
France is trying to spread responsibility for combatting the people-smuggling trade. Darmanin said it was an international problem. President Macron called on EU to help better control its borders. He agreed last night with Boris Johnson that they would definitely need help /3
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25 Nov
Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron spoke last night and agreed to intensify cooperation and efforts to stop people smuggling across the #Channel This, after at least 27 people died yesterday attempting the crossing BUT behind scenes French-UK finger-pointing continues. UK gov /1
Has accused French of not doing enough to stop illegal crossings to Britain. French have accused UK of being a magnet for illegal arrivals, they say:’lax about detaining people+making it too easy to find work’. Paris wants UK to issue ‘humanitarian visas’ to stop people risking/2
their lives to make illegal crossing. UK wants France to patrol its 150km long coastline better to stop the people smuggler trade. Illegal Channel crossings have increased since UK and France stepped up controls on Channel tunnel #channeldeaths /3
Read 5 tweets
16 Nov
Well this is big if not entirely unexpected - The Certification procedure for controversial #NordStream 2 pipeline-designed to send gas supplies directly from Russia to Germany - has been suspended for now. Moscow won’t be pleased but /1 bundesnetzagentur.de/SharedDocs/Pre…
It’ll calm (for a bit) the internal row in Germany +amongst EU countries over whether the pipeline is a) environmentally sound b) makes Germany/EU even more reliant on Russia for its energy. Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel was often criticised for going too easy onRussia /2
Accused of putting German economic interests before politics/diplomacy w Russia esp after Crimea. Ukraine was furious about the pipeline - but Germany’s Network Agency has now ruled that Ukraine must be part of Nordstream certification process /3
Read 6 tweets
10 Nov
EU diplomat on today‘s Brexit discussion amongst representatives of EU 27+EU Commission:
„The EU is preparing for the triggering of Article 16 by the UK. There is consensus among EU that such an arbitrary and unjustified move by the UK will be met with a clear European response.”
Diplomat adds that there is still hope -but that it’s waning - that negotiations w uk over the Protocol could be successful. He said EU retaliation if UK triggers article 16 would depend on what UK plans to do /2
Would uk government trigger article 16 to please a domestic audience but continue to apply checks on goods on the ground? asked the EU diplomat OR would uk reduce checks or abandon the protocol altogether? In each of those scenarios, the EU response would differ /3
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1 Nov
On fish and the Castex letter : The French PM did not call for the UK to be punished or damaged over Brexit BUT EU figures I speak to, accept the way the letter is written leaves it open to that interpretation /1
Privately, representatives of other EU member states describe the letter as ‘unfortunate’ or worse, considering the already high tensions between France and UK over fish and UK and wider EU over Protocol BUT /2
Despite a clear sense (and some irritation) in EU that Macron has been using the row over fish to flash his nationalist credentials ahead of Presidential elections in France, there is also some wider EU sympathy for French position. Trust in UK gov is v low in EU circles /3
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct
Little appetite in EU capitals for trade war with UK. Berlin focussing on building new government, Everyone worrying about gas prices. Lord Fost’s Lisbon speech is no game changer for the EU, it seems BUT tensions over NIreland Protocol are very real /1
EU and UK agree the Protocol hasnt been working in many ways on the ground. Tomorrow the EU will unveil what it calls practical solutions to concrete problems - Ways to reduce checks on goods and animal products (eg sausages!), ensuring medicines travel smoothly GB-NI and /2
EU will I’m told undertake to engage more w the authorities as well as business + civil society in NIreland. EU will underline tomorrow these are proposals to help people of NIreland. Brussels keen not to be seen to bend to what one EU diplomat described to me as “bullying /3
Read 10 tweets
26 Sep
Voting has begun in Germany to elect a new parliament (polls open 8am – 6pm CET). It’s almost the end of the Merkel era in German politics after 16 years as Chancellor BUT .. #GermanElection2021 /1
Today’s vote is just stage one in the process to form Germany’s next government. The country is preparing itself for lengthy and possibly fractious coalition negotiations. Angela Merkel will remain caretaker chancellor in the interim /2
The What Next after Merkel has proved hard to predict. Race to replace her is expected to be tight: between Armin Laschet a Europhile conservative from her CDU party and Olaf Scholz – a centrist Social Democrat + Germany’s current Finance Minister. The Green Party is tipped.. /3
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9 Apr
Across Europe, royal family members and heads of state have been expressing their condolences. Prince Philip‘s ‘Europe Connection’ dates from the very beginning #PrincePhilip /1
Born in 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu, his father was Prince Andrew of Greece and mother, the Princess Alice of Battenberg. That heritage made him a prince of Greece and Denmark BUT 1922 the family was banished from Greece after a coup.. /2
A British warship then carried them to safety in Italy, with baby Philip reportedly dozing in a makeshift fruit crate cot. Today the Italian President said Prince Philip “always showed sincere friendship towards the Italian people” during his visits to their country /3
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22 Mar
Latest YouGov poll suggests in EU ‘Big Four’ - Italy, Spain, Germany, France - more people believe the AstraZeneca jab to be unsafe than safe. A big drop over 2 weeks #covid /1
This follows the recent suspension of the AZ rollout in over 15 European countries as alleged links between the jab and rare blood clots in the brain were examined. The European Medicines Agency has since declared the jab safe. US clinical trials have now suggested the same.. /2
EU leaders are queuing up to say they’d have - or are having - the AZ vaccine in order to try to boost public confidence but it appears a lot of damage has been done AND YET the EU needs the AZ jab as part of its vaccine rollout - already way behind U.K. and US /3
Read 10 tweets
15 Mar
The EU has started formal legal action against the UK over the government decision to unilaterally delay checks on some goods coming into NIreland from Great Britain. The European Commission accuses the U.K. of breaking international law - the Brexit deal signed by both sides /1
Today the PM said the decision to delay some border checks constituted “temporary and technical measures” which were “very sensible.” Downing Street has said the move was “lawful and necessary” to ensure food continues to flow onto supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland /2
The EU case could lead to a judgment by the European Court of Justice, even though the UK has left the EU. The case is likely to take months or years to process and could result in a fine or sanctions imposed on British goods /3
Read 4 tweets
4 Mar
EU official dismisses attempts to “try to make the EU look like the bad guys for blocking the export of vaccines from pharma companies that haven’t honoured their contractual obligations with the EU” /1
Defending Italy’s controversial move today to bloc 250,000 AZ vaccines going to Australia, the official said “Zero” AstraZeneca vaccines had been exported to EU from the 2 factories in the U.K. He added that US had a de facto ban on vaccine exports in place but /2
He said the EU allowed many exports of vaccines out of the bloc. He countered my question about whether blocking exports wld damage the EU’s reputation internationally and insisted “other countries” (outside EU) were skilled at glossing over their own de facto export bans /3
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
Angela Merkel has just admitted on German public broadcaster ARD that it ‘rankles’ that U.K., US and Israel are vaccinating faster than EU countries but she insisted that nothing went wrong with the bloc’s procurement of vaccines /1
Britain, she said, had given an emergency approval to the Astra Zeneca vaccine within 24 hours but the EU had decided against that because, she said, countries depended on the trust of their citizens /2
Chancellor Merkel said in interview the EU wouldn’t have got more vaccines if it had offered more money to pharmaceutical companies. She said every vaccine is welcome in the EU as long as it’s approved by the European Medicines Agency /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
On German public broadcaster ARD just now Angela Merkel refused to accept criticism of the EU vaccine approval process. She defended the EU decision to go slower saying it was a matter of trust and attention to detail. She was asked about supply too /1
Whether - if the EU had been willing to pay more - it could have got more jabs and faster. Did national interest play a role she was asked: eg France wanting to favour the Sanofi vaccine? Merkel said no. She focused on the Pfizer vaccine in her answer, saying /2
The US exported virtually none of the Pfizer vaccine it produced so Europe was reliant on its own production plants, she said. She said that these were in the process of being added to /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
The EU Commission denies President von der Leyen “attacked”’the U.K. over its vaccine approval policy.
In an interview with a number of European papers she was asked about the slower approval by the European Medicines Agency of vaccines compared to countries eg U.K. but /1
The Commission says von der Leyen answered the question comparing two methods. Not singling out the U.K.
Journalists in the room report the same Eg elpais.com/sociedad/2021-… and repubblica.it/cronaca/2021/0… /2
Von der Leyen is quoted as saying “Some countries started to vaccinate a little before Europe, it is true,” “But they resorted to emergency, 24-hour marketing authorisation procedures. The commission and the member states agreed not to compromise with the safety and efficacy..“/3
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
After huge to + fro between AstraZeneca and Brussels about the terms of their #covid vaccines contract, the EU Commission says AstraZeneca has now agreed to publish the contract. EU has argued terms include delivery of vaccines from the company’s UK as well as EU production sites
Contract does mention that under the terms of making the”best reasonable efforts”(legal term in this context) to provide EU with agreed number of vaccines AstraZeneca would use production facilities in EU but also U.K. and possibly sites outside EU “to accelerate supply” toEurope
EU believes it has a strong case to demand some vaccines produced in U.K. should be diverted to EU to make up the approx 60% shortfall in vaccine delivery to EU up to end of March that AstraZeneca has warned about
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
On German radio this morning, the European Commission President made clear she disputed the reasons given by Astra Zeneca for why it couldn’t honour its vaccine contract with the EU.. #covid /1
Mrs von der Leyen also disputed Astra Zeneca’s suggestion that the company’s UK based sites had to serve the UK first. She said their contract made clear the EU would have access to the UK and EU sites. She again called on Astra Zeneca to publish the contract immediately /2
Today the EU will announce details of new “transparency” regulations, requiring pharmaceutical companies to reveal how much of the vaccine/parts of the vaccine they’re producing, where they wish to export them to and when. EU countries could then authorise exports. Or not /3
Read 5 tweets
28 Jan
The UK Department of Health and Social Care disputes it has banned export of certain medicines incl a number used for treatment of #covid patients. Spokesman says
“Medicines that have been manufactured and intended for markets abroad are not subject to the export restrictions /1
He says:”We have restricted the exporting and hoarding medicines that have been placed on the market in the UK for UK patients to ensure the uninterrupted supply for NHS patients.” These restrictions mainly date back to March /2
The discussion about bans, alleged bans and proposed bans of medicines, equipment and especially vaccines is of course hugely sensitive. The EU has been contemplating an export ban on covid vaccines because of the current row with Astra Zeneca which has informed the EU /3
Read 8 tweets
30 Dec 20
European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen and European Council Pres Charles Michel (representing the 27 member states) begin the ceremonial signing of the EU-U.K. trade and cooperation agreement soon before the document is then flown to U.K. for PM to sign /1
EU enters new trade relationship in a wary frame of mind. No one I talk to here thinks this’ll be a smooth ride: the EU ever-conscious of protecting single market interests. Downing Street yearning to diverge, they believe /2
Repeatedly when I speak to EU figures about the agreement, they mention the government’s Internal Market Bill with its original clauses contradicting the Brexit divorce deal as to why there’s this wariness here. And why they hope the deal’s dispute mechanisms will be effective /3
Read 4 tweets
24 Dec 20
Eu Commussion Chief holding press conference with chief negotiator Michel Barnier « We have finally found an agreement - a good, fair, balanced deal says von der Leyen
Deal protects EU interests - a solid foundation with a departing friend. Europe will ctn to advance. EU has remained United throughout process says Bon der Leyen
EU rules and standards will be redirected - have tools and mechanisms to react if there is ‘unfair competition’ says von der Leyen - also has 5.5 years of stability for EU fishing communities says von der Leyen
Read 11 tweets
18 Dec 20
Why, you might ask, if the EU priority in negotiations was to protect the single market, is Brussels allowing issue of fish to endanger the whole deal? EU always knew it needed to compromise on fish so che pasa? #Brexit /1
Thing is, level playing field is worth a lot more in monetary and political terms to EU BUT it sounds quite abstract to voters. Fishermen and women losing their jobs, industries dwindling .. that would be very visible very quickly - this elevates importance of fishing rights /2
In coastal countries where governments fear public backlash if it’s perceived they’ve sacrificed national fishing communities for a deal with U.K. /3
Read 7 tweets