katya adler Profile picture
BBC Europe Editor
AlanLB 🦋 ⚖ 🦋 Profile picture Chris #WearAMask 3.5% #RejoinEU #FBPE Profile picture DLlewellyn Profile picture Birger Leth Profile picture RICHARD LINTER Profile picture 17 added to My Authors
29 Jun
Greece has decided to ban all flights from the UK and Sweden until July 15, according to Athens News Agency. The current ban was expiring on July 1st but the government decided to extent the ban for two more weeks #covid19 /1
As far as third (non-EU) countries are concerned, Greece says it’s planning to adhere to the EU list that is being drafted in Brussels and is expected to be confirmed ahead of 1 July deadline /2
Read 2 tweets
28 Jun
Most EU members have now approved an initial list of “safe” countries whose citizens will be allowed to travel to the EU/Schengen area as of 1 July. US not on list. Australia and Canada are. China would be, I’m told if granted access for EU travellors #COVID19 /1
Criteria for EU access includes virus infection rate but also the efficacy of the non-EU country’s healthcare and test, track and trace system plus the transparency of its health data as well as reciprocity issue: ie if country allows EU/Schengen citizens to travel there /2
Issue is politically fraught. Complicated by fact that border control in times of crisis is for national governments to decide,even those in Schengen area BUT Germany which takes 6month rotating EU presidency on 1 July, believes EU needs to be seen to act together over pandemic/2
Read 9 tweets
5 Jun
“Plus ca change,” you could say. Round four of EU-UK trade talks: cue yet another downbeat assessment from both sides’ chief negotiators /1
“Progress remains limited”noted David Frost in his customary written statement. Michel Barnier said "I don’t think we can go on like this forever…on top of that as you know the UK has refused to extend the transition period in other words to allow more time for negotiations.“/2
BUT before you rush to join the “No deal is now the most likely outcome” school of thought: while both sides continue to insist loudly that they stand firm - on all issues linked to national sovereignty for the UK; on anything associated with the single market for the EU - .. /3
Read 7 tweets
5 Jun
Michel Barnier starts presser conference following end of round 4 of trade talks with U.K. /1
Our objective from beginning of these negotiations was to negotiate in parallel on all strands concerning future relationship - says Barnier /2
EU and UK decided this week to concentrate on the main sticking points. Barnier praises EU chief negotiator David Frist but says no real progress made this week nonetheless /3
Read 18 tweets
20 May
“A letter is not the right place to negotiate” is main thrust of the EU’s chief trade negotiator’s written response to yesterday’s letter sent to him by his UK counterpart - criticising the EU position. Barnier then does go on to take issue with 3 of Frost’s main criticisms.. /1
Do you need to know by heart all details in both letters? Not really. It’s pretty you’re-wrong-no-you’re-wrong. Bottom line is either EU+UK make compromises in coming months to agree a deal or they don’t. We can debate letters or which side will have to make bigger compromises /2
But you win no prize for realising that each side thinks the other will have to blink first or more often.. or for knowing that the EU does indeed compromise when says it won’t BUT EU overriding priority remains protecting single market, rather than protecting trade with UK /3
Read 3 tweets
20 May
There will be huge frustration in Brussels now the UK has published its expectations of the requirements of the Irish protocol - remember the agreement signed as part of #Brexit deal to replace Irish backstop? UK saying there is no international border down Irish Sea /1
While true in law, UK signed up in practise to NIreland effectively remaining in EU customs union and in its single market for goods. UK saying no checks needed on goods travelling from NIreland to GB under the protocol. No checks on goods from GB into NIreland either IF ../2
Those goods remain in NIreland and are not headed for Republic of Ireland and rest of single market. EU disagrees. Thinks some kinds of control will be necessary. Worried about goods entering mkt through “bank door”. UK saying it wont add any additional customs infrastructure /3
Read 6 tweets
19 May
At this point in trade negotiations, EU + UK see the other’s position clearly. Each has told the other to completely rethink its position or there’ll be no deal. Translation: Each side is standing tough in front of own domestic audience. Both want deal. Know compromise needed /1
Clock is counting down. Negotiations expected to get properly tough in autumn ie last minute. Deja vu from last year #Brexit negotiations. But not same really. Withdrawal Agreement was organising U.K. departure. This is complex future trade deal between close neighbours.. /2
touching on other key relationships too eg energy, transport, fight against terror. Details matter and details take time /3
Read 3 tweets
18 May
The European Commission is ready with an outline of propsal for recovery fund to help EU member states whose economies have been hardest hit by #COVID19 . Not all details ironed out esp the emphasis on loans vs grants but .. /1
Commission President @vonderleyen has been talking to member states to get their crucial support. European Parliament must be on board and National parliaments in member states. Unanimity is needed. So bar is high .. /2
Commission says the fund needs to come as part of the still-to-be agreed and hotly contested new 7 year EU budget. Member States are partly short of cash (eg net payer Italy) or under political pressure not to spend much more (Netherlands) so Commission wants to use ‘headroom’ /3
Read 11 tweets
18 May
Spain is to become first country in Europe to introduce a permanent universal basic income programme to help people cope with the financial effects of #COVID19 Each household will receive 462 euros a month. The aim: reaching up to a million “most vulnerable” Spanish households /1
Recipients can work while receiving the payments. The scheme is aimed at encouraging people to look for work, rather than deterring job-seeking. Spanish media say their government first floated idea in December but that the pandemic accelerated plans to help Spain’s poorest /2
Scotland's government has called for a universal basic income to counter looming global recession which Bank of England warns will be the deepest on record /3
Read 4 tweets
15 May
A senior UK negotiating official says: UK being very realistic. Only asking EU for PRECEDENTED relationship – eg along same lines as EU agreed in past with Canada or Japan for example /1
UK official says UK engaging in all areas of talks + has made an offer to EU on level playing field provisions but EU thinks there’s a half-way meeting point on its demands. UK says no half way on sovereignty. Cannot accept at all that EU laws/standards be binding on UK /2
If EU so worried about level playing field then UK says it has floated possibility of aiming for 98% or 99% tariff free quota free trade (like Canada/Japan) if 100% too difficult. BUT EU says not enough time to negotiate individual tariff lines by Johnson end of year deadline /3
Read 3 tweets
15 May
Barnier says he’s « determined but not optimistic » about how EU-UK talks are going. #Brexit /1
Barnier says U.K. can’t have benefits of single market and customs union without restrictions. If there’s to be a deal then Barnier says the U.K. needs to change its strategy /2
Barnier says EU will never make an agreement at the cost if its own single market. Says EU will never allow a 3rd country (non member) to set the conditions for access to European single market /3
Read 3 tweets
14 May
The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for allegedly violating EU law on free movement dating back to 2014 -« limiting the rights of first time job seekers and family members. Also imposing unjustified lifetime bans on re-entry to the country » /1
The Commission has sent a formal letter to the UK, which is the first step in its infringement proceedings. The UK has 4 months to address issue. UK gov spokesman says: « We have received the letter, and we are considering it”. /2
EU says “These shortcomings have an impact on current rights of EU citizens in UK + also risk effecting implementation of citizens’ rights under the (#Brexit) withdrawal.” EU Commission says the UK action breaches articles in EU Treaties +2004 freedom of movement directive. /3
Read 3 tweets
13 May
It’s no surprise the EU is keen to kick-start tourism. #COVID19 linked recession is hitting Europe hard. A summer season of deserted beaches, echoey night-clubs and empty hotel rooms would make things a whole lot worse. Tourism accounts for 10% of the European economy /1
Far more in the case of individual countries like Greece and Spain. But we’re not talking here about jumping from lockdown to European beach party overnight. There is no vaccine or treatment yet for COVID-19. EU countries are only just beginning to emerge from lockdown. /2
Many still have travel restrictions in place within their own borders. France for example has green zones where infection rates are lower and red zones where COVID 19 is more widespread. Germany and others closed national borders to EU neighbours at the height of the pandemic /3
Read 8 tweets
10 May
Germany’s Foreign Minister warns of no deal looming end of this year as EU-UK trade run into difficulty. Ahead of 3rd round of negotiations stating tomorrow, Minister Maas criticised U.K. negotiating stance /1 t-online.de/nachrichten/au…
The “no deal“ prediction/threat is something you hear a lot in EU circles right now. It’s certainly possible but at this point is more designed to put pressure on UK. No one in Brussels expects hard, earnest EU-UK negotiations to start till the autumn #Brexit /2
That is deemed risky. If there’s a new spike in #covid19 infections in colder months, what bandwidth will Boris Johnson + EU leaders have to focus on compromises they’ll need to make to get some kind of deal -however narrow- done by end of year? The time limit imposed by U.K. /3
Read 3 tweets
5 May
Ireland’s Foreign Minister says progress in EU-UK trade talks “has not been good”. Adds: unless there is significant progress soon then both sides will reach “yet another crisis point in the Brexit negotiations, which from the Irish point of view is very, very serious” #Brexit /1
Ambassadors representing all EU countries meet EU chief negotiator @MichelBarnier this afternoon. He accuses the UK of selective engagement in trade talks ie avoiding issues it doesn’t like eg fishing quotas and competition regulations. UK says it’s not avoiding anything BUT /2
That the two sides are still far apart when it comes to those issues. A crisis has always been predicted in EU-UK trade talks especially with the tight timetable set by Boris Johnson to have the agreement signed off by end of this year but #COVIDー19 complicates matters BECAUSE/3
Read 13 tweets
1 May
Germany has delayed a decision on when schools should re-open till 6 May. Some children taking key exams are already back in class but German authorities worry there aren’t enough exhaustive studies on children to show conclusively how easily they are infected or infect others /1
Denmark says it has noticed a clear increase in #coronavirus infections since it re-opened primary and nursery schools 2 weeks ago. Italy says it won’t re-open schools till September BUT /2
Policies vary -as with almost all lockdown easing measures- from country to country. France starts opening schools 11 May and Belgium from 15 May. Big push factor is economic: to allow parents to concentrate on work again while kids at school BUT /3
Read 4 tweets
1 May
The Belgium gov promised to protect the public by boosting testing + tracing capacity in time for its phased lifting of lockdown measures.. starting this Monday. But the testing rate lags behind set goal and manual tracing system seems unlikely to be ready in time #coronavirus /1
The tracing system is designed to track and alert people who’ve been in contact with recently infected individuals over the previous 14 days. The Belgian government had announced it would hire 2000 manual tracers but that number has not yet been reached /2
Belgium repeatedly appears as having the highest mortality rate per 100,000 in the world but officials insist that’s because countries count #Coronavirus deaths differently /3
Read 3 tweets
30 Apr
A reminder of how domestic politics dominates EU agenda #1: Dutch PM Rutte stands for re-election next year. While visiting workers at rubbish sorting site he gave thumbs up to employee asking him not to give Dutch money to the Italians and Spaniards👇/1 nos.nl/l/2332159
Reminder of how domestic politics dominates EU agenda #2: Although European Commission promised this would not be the case, qualified majority of EU countries pushing for airlines to be allowed to compensate passengers with vouchers, not cash for cancelled trips #coronavirus /2
Part of scramble in a number of EU countries to save national carriers. Commission hopes airlines will be leaned on to improve green credentials as quid pro quo eg France w Air France bailout/3 flightglobal.com/strategy/frenc…
Read 3 tweets
28 Apr
Am not first to comment on this today but below observation by Michael Gove that #coronavirus will focus EU minds on post #Brexit trade deal is delusional. It distracts EU leaders all the more from something that was not top of in-tray even before COVID-19 politicshome.com/news/article/c…
There is logic in assuming the EU worries about economic effect of #coronavirus . The UK imports from EU more than it exports to bloc. There is European interest in keeping that business going esp amongst closest trade partners eg Ireland, NL BUT /2
a) not at any price b) this is not more of a priority now than before Covid-19. EU priority right now is to get past health crisis and help single market back on feet. To protect and boost single market rather than agree trade terms with UK the EU believes weakens the market /3
Read 5 tweets
24 Apr
UK has yet to seriously engage in key areas of negotiation - says Barnier . That worries me, he says. We can’t make progress on selected issues, he says. Need solutions on most difficult topics. Four areas in particular: #brexit /1
1) Level playing field. FTA would give uk access to 450 million consumers on its doorstep. Trade, services, transport, fisheries BUT need to guarantee social, environmental, tax, state aid. UK failing to engage here says Barnier /2
Barnier says there will be no ambitious trade deal without fair competition guarantees/3
Read 3 tweets
21 Apr
Viewing their #coronavirus battered economies, European governments are turning their attention to tourism and the summer months. France👇says it’s still too early to decide while Germany today announced it would cancel its world famous Oktoberfest this year .. /1
In Austria the PM is promoting “staycations” because of the #coronavirus while his tourism minister muses about possible bilateral agreements between countries to open up borders and in Spain /2
There’s an assumption it will lose much of the 14% of GDP that tourism normally represents which is why Spain felt the need to boost industrial output instead. The first non-essential workers alllowed back in Spain were factory and construction workers /3
Read 3 tweets