#AceNewsReport – Oct.02: Since the beginning of the year, operational cooperation between UK law enforcement agencies and EU Member States via EUROPOL has continued effectively and without interruption…..
#AceDailyNews reports on the NCA Director General Dame Lynne Owens and EUROPOL Executive Director Catherine De Bolle having signed a working arrangement between the NCA and Europol which will sit under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement…..
The Working and Administrative Arrangement, which complements and implements the TCA by providing further clarity on how cooperation should be undertaken at operational level, will ensure this continues.
Shared capabilities protected under the TCA, and now also the new arrangement, include the presence of UK/NCA liaison officers based in Europol headquarters, access to EUROPOL’s secure messaging system, the ability to attend and organise operational and other meetings at EUROPOL, the ability to contribute to EUROPOL analysis projects in order to benefit from the agency’s coordination and analytical functions, and the fast and effective exchange of data…..
In the last nine months, the continued working relationship between the NCA and our EU partners via Europol has resulted in:
The takedown of both the Emotet malware and the DoubleVPN cybercrime service;
The arrest of a man wanted by Belgium authorities in connection with the smuggling of 39 migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex in October 2019;
The capture of six fugitives wanted in Romania, Hungary and Lithuania for offences linked to modern slavery, human trafficking and people smuggling.
Attended or initiated more than 150 operational meetings between Jan and May 2021
NCA Director General Dame Lynne Owens said: “This arrangement with EUROPOL supports our continued work to tackle the full range of crime threats facing the UK and our European neighbours: We are relentlessly focused on tackling serious and organised criminals, including those who abuse children, who fuel violence through trafficking drugs and firearms, who steal money and information through fraud and cyber crime, and those behind the people smuggling which risks the lives of migrants for profit: The TCA, and our arrangement with EUROPOL, reflects the scale of the NCA’s contribution in protecting the UK from serious and organised crime, and we look forward to continued collaborative working with our EU law enforcement partners.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Keeping the public safe remains the Government’s top priority: This arrangement builds on the security measures we negotiated with the EU in our Trade and Cooperation Agreement last year. It will ensure we can continue effective cooperation with our partners, both to protect the public from serious organised crime and bring criminals to justice.”
#AceHealthReport – July.28: A review of the border rules is due by 31 July – the second date in the Department for Transport’s plan for a safe return to international travel.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says #COVID19 Travel: Fully jabbed from EU and US could avoid quarantine as ministers discuss with airlines on best way forward as U.S and E.U do not have an open border policy with rise in cases and lower vaccination rates than U.K. …as sources said the isolation exemption was likely to be discussed at the Covid Operations meeting on Wednesday over 31st July review of border rules….but todays cases are these below for 28/07/21 …
But they said a decision on whether to proceed will not necessarily be taken.
Currently, people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK do not have to quarantine when travelling from the US and EU, apart from France, because those places are on the amber list (and some EU countries are on the green list). But that exemption does not apply to people who have been vaccinated outside the UK.
Downing Street and the Department for Transport declined to comment on newspaper reports the government would go ahead with the plan to also exempt people vaccinated in the US and EU.
The travel industry has been pushing for this change in the rules so that people living abroad can more easily come to the UK for holidays or to visit loved ones.
“At the moment we’re in this slightly ridiculous situation where if I’m on a plane from Spain, because I’m lucky enough to have had two jabs, once we get to the UK I just wander off, no problem,” said travel expert Simon Calder.
“But the person sitting next to me, who happens to have had their vaccinations in Spain, not in the UK, has to go and sit in a room for 10 days. Doesn’t make sense.”
The aviation industry is also calling for a change after carrying out a 10-day trial of checking the vaccination status of passengers.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport wanted to demonstrate that vaccination status could be checked away from the border and allow safe entry to the UK from countries on the amber list.
The companies said 99% of documents were verified correctly during the trial, which involved about 250 fully-vaccinated participants from the US, the Caribbean and Europe, travelling to Heathrow.
Two passengers had their credentials rejected, the companies said: one because their vaccination was completed less than 14 days before travel, and the other because of a discrepancy between the name on the passport and on the vaccine card.
The relaxation of the quarantine rules for travellers into England from the EU and the US is backed by a broad coalition of government ministers, who see the benefits to the tourism industry and the economy in general. “There’s no reason not to do this,” said one advisor. Another warned that an airline could go bankrupt if it didn’t happen.
A decision may be imminent but it may take days or weeks to put it into practice. For example, airlines will need time to prepare because they’ll be the ones checking the documents.
And the recent creation of an “amber plus” category at the last minute and without the knowledge of some members of the government shows that sometimes the process doesn’t always go smoothly.
Then there’s travel in the other direction, with the US in no rush to allow in British travellers despite the high-profile launch of a transatlantic travel taskforce last month. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport said the UK was falling behind the EU in opening up to international travellers.
BA chief executive Sean Doyle said the trial provides the evidence that the government needs to allow fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries to come to the UK without self-isolating.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said there was “no reason to delay with rolling out the solution from July 31”, while the head of EasyJet told LBC such a change was “the right thing” but a “little bit too late”.Freddie Julius runs tour company Tourist England which puts on trips for overseas visitors. He said around 80% of his customers are from the US and EU and “over the last 18 months we’ve seen almost none”.
Tourist EnglandTourist England said a rule change was critical for the revival of the travel sectorHe said changing the rules to allow vaccinated tourists to visit without quarantining was “critical for the revival of the inbound tourism sector”.But he told the BBC any change needed to be lasting, adding: “
The constant easing and tightening of restrictions have made it almost impossible to plan ahead, both for tour companies and tourists.” However, even if the UK changed its rules for the US, its citizens have been urged not to travel to the UK by the country’s health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the US border is currently closed to the UK, as well as many other countries, except for US citizens.
The vast majority of countries, including the US and many European countries including Spain, Italy and Germany, are on the amber list. Adults who have been fully vaccinated in the UK, and under-18s who are UK residents, no longer have to self-isolate after visiting any amber country apart from France. But anyone who was fully vaccinated outside the UK still has to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, or pay for the test-to-release scheme to shorten their quarantine.
#AceNewsReport – July.28: The legal action was started in March after the UK took unilateral action to change the implementation of the protocol: At that time the UK delayed new checks on food, parcels and pets entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
#AceDailyNews says ……Brexit Next: EU pauses legal action against UK over NI Protocol ‘breaches’ it said it was doing so to create the “necessary space” to consider UK proposals for reforming the deal.
By John Campbell BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor
The Northern Ireland Protocol was agreed by the UK and EU to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
It does that by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods.
That has created a new trade border in the Irish Sea, causing some difficulties in moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Last week, the UK published proposals for the protocol, which amounted to a request for a major renegotiation.
It also asked for a standstill period, which would involve pausing the legal action and extending so-called grace periods.
The EU has already said it will not renegotiate the protocol but will “consider any proposals that respect the principles” of the deal.
However, it has not ruled out the standstill period.
A European Commission spokesperson said: “With regards to the request for a standstill, the commission will carefully assess the new proposals made by the UK, in accordance with the necessary consultation procedures, both internally and with the European Parliament.
“In order to provide the necessary space to reflect on these issues and find durable solutions to the implementation of the protocol, we have decided at this stage not to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure, started in March.”
A government spokesperson said they had received a “constructive reply from the Commission”.
“We look forward to engaging in talks with the EU in the weeks ahead to progress the proposals in our command paper,” they added.
“As we set out in the Command Paper last week, significant changes are needed to ensure the Protocol is sustainable for future.”
#AceNewsReport – June.05: But the European Commission said it had concerns about the law, and a leading NGO said it was irresponsible:
Denmark Asylum: Law passed to allow offshore centres: The project, proposed by the Social Democrat-led government, would seek partner countries to run camps and fund agencies along migration routes as more countries consider the same move
Denmark has repeatedly tightened its immigration policies in recent years.
This follows a peak of more than 21,000 asylum seekers arriving in Denmark in 2015.
EPA: Denmark’s tough immigration policies began after record numbers of migrants arrived in 2015
“If you apply for asylum in Denmark, you know that you will be sent back to a country outside Europe, and therefore we hope that people will stop seeking asylum in Denmark,” said government spokesman Rasmus Stoklund, quoted by Reuters news agency.
The asylum cases would be reviewed in the third country and the applicant could potentially be given protection in that country.
But the European Commission was critical of the law.
“External processing of asylum claims raises fundamental questions about both the access to asylum procedures and effective access to protection,” said spokesman Adalbert Jahnz, quoted by Reuters news agency.
“The idea to externalise the responsibility of processing asylum seekers’ claims is both irresponsible and lacking in solidarity. We have repeatedly called on the Danish members of parliament to reject this bill,” it said.
The council added that there was now a risk of countries hosting larger numbers of refugees would also opt out.
Denmark recently signed a migration deal with Rwanda leading to speculation that it intends to open a facility there.
#AceNewsReport – May.10: Appearing before a hearing of the House Justice Committee, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said that “Chinese intelligence service agents could have access to sensitive and secure areas of the airport”.
Chinese Spies Could Be Using Jack Ma’s Alibaba to Infiltrate Major EU Airport, Claims Belgian Justice Minister
“Alibaba will also have to obey the Chinese security apparatus in the event that the latter wishes to have access to potentially sensitive commercial and personal data held by Alibaba in the context of its activities in Liège,” the minister added in comments reported on Friday by the local news outlet 7sur7.
Quickenborne referenced the 2017 National Intelligence Law, which mandates that Chinese companies allow the communist government access to their data, no matter whether such a company has overseas operations, such as Alibaba, which uses Liège as a distribution hub for shipping goods around Europe.
He also pointed to the 2016 cybersecurity law in China, which he said gives the power to Chinese intelligence operatives to “copy data, including user data. This law applies to any company that provides service via the internet, including Alibaba.”
The Flemish politician claimed that the Liège airport, which is outside the city of Maastricht, is of critical strategic importance to the Chinese Communist Party, saying: “This interest is not limited to intelligence and security purposes but can be viewed within a broader political and economic framework.”
He said that “the future economic importance of Liège Airport to China cannot be underestimated”, explaining that Beijing intends to build an additional 215 new airports by 2035 in order to expand its global economic reach.
Quickenborne also said that the risk of China attempting to use its economic pressure on politicians through projects like the Liège Airport “certainly” exists.
The Southern China Morning Post, which was bought out by the Alibaba Group in 2016, reported that the airport in Belgium “is the Western Europe linchpin of Alibaba’s global network of logistics centres, known as the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).”
The paper went on to say that the airport represents one of the six global logistics centres set up by the Amazon-style Chinese company.
Van Quickenborne said that while the European Union mandated last October that each member state examine foreign investment, which might impact national security, the Belgian government has so far failed to implement any such measures.
He said that the country must now take action or accept “the risk associated with large investments and the taking of a dominant position on the market by Chinese companies and therefore, by extension, by the Chinese authorities”.
The Chinese embassy in Belgium denied what it termed “baseless allegations”, claiming that the Chinese Communist Party does not “demand Chinese enterprises to engage in activities that breach local laws or regulations”.
“China never presents a threat to Belgium,” the embassy said, adding: “The cooperation between the two nations is built on the foundation of mutual respect, mutual benefits and win-win relationship.”
The power that the Chinese government holds over corporations within the country was put on full display when Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba Group, mysteriously disappeared from public view for months after making critical remarks about the regulatory state in China in October of last year.
In January, Breitbart News reported that the Chinese state had allegedly pressured Jack Ma to hand over consumer data to the government, adding further speculation to the true nature of his mysterious disappearance.
Three months later, regulators imposed a record $2.78 billion (£1.99bn) fine on the company for supposed antitrust violations.
The Chinese state overtook the United States as the European Union’s top trading partner in 2020, as ties between Brussels and the communist dictatorship in Beijing continue to deepen. https://t.co/RzgCixukoq
#AceNewsReport – Apr,17: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has taken an intense interest in Syria’s civil war, and has accused President Bashar Assad of deploying chemical weapons against his own people on several occasions. Its conclusions have twice been used to justify US military action against Syria, and a new OPCW report on Monday found “reasonable grounds” to suspect that a Syrian Army helicopter dropped chemical weapons on the town of Saraqib in 2018.
Mick Wallace, an Irish MEP, is among them. When OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias addressed the European Parliament Subcommittee of Security and Defence on Thursday, Wallace accused the OPCW of squashing evidence that Assad may not have been behind one particularly heinous 2018 attack in Douma, near Damascus.
“Why will you not heed calls from renowned international figures…to meet with all the investigators?” Wallace asked Arias. “This problem is not going away. Are you going to investigate all aspects in a transparent manner?”
He is far from a lone crank. Whistleblower testimony and internal documents suggest that the OPCW suppressed “key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies” relating to the Douma attack, in order to “favor a preordained conclusion,” in the words of one panel of skeptics. A scientific paper challenging the OPCW’s conclusion was shelvedfollowing an outcry from Bellingcat, and one director within the OPCW worried that were the truth to get out, it could aid Russia, an ally of Assad. Furthermore, while multiple whistleblowers have come forward to dispute the OPCW’s findings, more have been “frightened into silence,” one claimed last year.
Wallace also accused Arias of ignoring a “false leak,” made to the BBC and the NATO-affiliated Bellingcat, which he claimed was used to discredit former OPCW Director-General José Bustani, who disagrees with Arias’ blaming of Assad for the Douma attack.
Yet before Arias could respond, subcommittee chairwoman Nathalie Loiseau stepped in to do his job for him. Loiseau apologized to Arias for Wallace’s tough questioning, and accused the Ireland South MEP of peddling “fake news.”
“I cannot accept that you can call into question the work of an international organization, and that you would call into question the word of the victims in the way you have just done,” she scolded Wallace.
“Is there no freedom of speech being allowed in the European Parliament any more,” Wallace shot back, “today you’re denying me my opinion!”
Wallace’s microphone was then cut, and Arias allowed to speak. However, the OPCW chief did not directly address his questions. Instead he thanked the other MEPs present for their “words of support,” and reiterated his claims that Assad’s government is responsible for “a humanitarian catastrophe of massive proportions.”
Though Loiseau apparently wanted to shield Arias from Wallace’s uncomfortable questions, skepticism within the OPCW goes all the way to the top. Former Director-General Bustani has accused the organization of “potentially fraudulent conduct in the investigative process,” a position that saw him banned from addressing the UN Security Council on the issue last year.
The whistleblower scandal has been mostly ignored by the mainstream media, with only a handful of alternative outlets picking up the story.
From Loiseau’s position though, dissent within the parliament is undesirable ahead of the OPCW’s ‘Conference of the States Parties’ in The Hague next week. Ahead of Wallace’s questioning, Loiseau reminded MEPs that a vote will likely be taken at the conference to suspend Syria’s voting rights within the organization, likely accompanied by other “punitive measures.”
#AceNewsReport – Apr.03: Foreign correspondents were “being driven out of China as a result of continuous harassment and obstruction to their work”, it said:
China ‘driving out journalists’, EU says after BBC’s Sudworth leaves after he says he faced “intensifying attempts to obstruct and harass us wherever we film” EU urged China to abide by its international legal obligations to ensure freedom of speech and press.
9 minutes ago:
Sudworth left following pressure and threats from the Chinese authorities.
The BBC’s China correspondent, who won awards for his reporting on the treatment of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region, left the Chinese capital together with his family, including his wife, RTÉ reporter Yvonne Murray.
China, which has denounced the BBC’s coverage of Xinjiang, said it was unaware of any threat to Sudworth other than possible legal action to challenge his reporting on the region.
But he and his family were followed by plainclothes police to the airport and tailed through check-in.
The BBC says it is proud of his reporting and Sudworth, who was based in the country for nine years, remains its China correspondent.
The irony is, of course, that at the same time that the space for foreign journalism is shrinking in China, the Communist Party has been investing heavily in its media strategy overseas, taking full advantage of the easy access to a free and open media.
State-media propagandists publish and post their content overseas without restriction, while at home, China ruthlessly shuts down independent reporting, censors foreign broadcasts and websites, and blocks foreign journalists from its own social media networks.
In this context, my departure can be seen as one small part of an emerging and highly asymmetric battle for the control of ideas. It is not a happy prospect for the free flow of good, accurate information.
A spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at least 18 correspondents had been expelled from China last year.
“The EU has repeatedly expressed its concerns to the Chinese authorities at the undue working restrictions imposed on foreign journalists and reported related harassment,” the spokesperson added.John Sudworth (above) and his team were followed and had their footage deleted on a trip to Xinjiang in late 2020
“Professionalism and objectivity of foreign correspondents is increasingly put into question.”
They said the EU stood up “for the role of independent and reliable media all around the world” and called upon China to “abide by its obligations under national and international law and ensure the freedom of speech and press”.
The number of international media organisations reporting from China is shrinking. Last year China expelled correspondents for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among others.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said the authorities had not been given prior notice of Sudworth’s departure.
“Only in recent days when we were faced with the task of renewing Sudworth’s press card did we learn that Sudworth left without saying goodbye,” Hua Chunying told a news conference in Beijing. “After he left the country, he didn’t by any means inform the relevant departments nor provide any reason why.”
In its statement, the BBC said: “John’s reporting has exposed truths the Chinese authorities did not want the world to know.”
Sudworth’s reporting colleagues are still in Beijing, and he says he intends to continue his reporting from Taiwan.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.24: The U.S. government has exercised its authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights have severe consequences. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms:
Imposing Sanctions on Russia for the Poisoning and Imprisonment of Aleksey Navalny: ‘Whitehouse said they share the EU’s concerns regarding Russia’s deepening authoritarianism and welcome the EU’s determination to impose sanctions on Russia under its new global human rights authorities’
The United States has consistently characterized the legal offensive against Mr. Navalny as politically motivated, an assessment shared by our G7 partners and the European Court of Human Rights. We reiterate our call for the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny.
In today’s actions, the Department of State, under the U.S. Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, will expand existing sanctions first imposed on Russia after its 2018 chemical weapon attack against Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, three years ago this week. The Department of State has also implemented measures under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators, as well as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) against multiple Russian individuals and entities associated with the Russian Federation’s chemical weapons program and defense and intelligence sectors. In addition, the Department will amend Section 126.1 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to include Russia in the list of countries subject to a policy of denial for exports of defense articles and defense services, with certain exceptions for exports to Russia in support of government space cooperation. Exports in support of commercial space cooperation, however, will be restricted following a six-month transition period.
The Department of the Treasury is designating seven Russian government officials, five of whom were previously designated by the EU and UK for their role in Navalny’s poisoning and two whom the EU designated in response to Mr. Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment. The Department of Commerce is adding 14 entities to the Entity List based on their proliferation activities in support of Russia’s weapons of mass destruction programs and chemical weapons activities.
For more information on today’s action, please see the Department of State’s fact sheet.
#AceHealthReport – Mar.21: There is quite a bit of pressure on member states to obtain the vaccine for themselves,” she told Germany’s Funke Media Group over the weekend:
Coronavirus: EU ‘not ready’ to share COVID vaccines with poorer countries: Despite earlier promises, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Sunday that the bloc will not share coronavirus vaccines with other countriesuntil it has “a better production situation in the EU.”
The announcement, which comes as the EU is facing a third coronavirus wave and renewed restrictions on public life, signalled an apparent reversal of the bloc’s earlier promises.
Von der Leyen had strongly campaigned for providing vaccines to people worldwide back in spring 2020. But most COVID vaccine doses continue to be administered in wealthy nations.
“The EU has invested €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion) in this initiative. COVAX has already delivered 30 million doses of vaccine to 52 countries,” she said.
EU slams AstraZeneca
EU-based manufacturers have shipped 41 million vaccine doses to 33 countries since early February, von der Leyen said on Saturday, making the bloc one of the world’s largest export regions for coronavirus vaccines.
“I can’t explain to European citizens why we are exporting millions of vaccine doses to countries that are producing vaccines themselves and aren’t sending us anything back,” she said.
Several European countries suspend AstraZeneca vaccine
The EU has set up special mechanisms to limit vaccine exports. Manufacturers contracted to supply member states must declare if they intend to export doses outside the bloc.
The EU chief threatened to suspend exports of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines if the bloc did not receive its promised deliveries first.
“We have the option of banning a planned export. That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first before you start delivering to other countries,” von der Leyen said, adding that the Anglo-Swedish pharma company had delivered only 30% of the 90 million vaccine doses it had promised for the first quarter of the year.
UK warns against EU vaccine export ban
In response to the threats, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Sunday that “the world is watching” how the EU responds to AstraZeneca’s shortfall in deliveries.
“It is counterproductive (to halt exports of vaccines) because the one thing we know about vaccine production and manufacture is that it is collaborative,” he said.
“They (the EU) would undermine not only their own citizens’ chances of having a proper vaccine programme, but also many other countries around the world with the reputational damage for the EU which they would find very hard to change over the short-term,” he added.
The EU has accused the UK of imposing its own de facto export ban. The claim was vigorously denied by the UK, however, there is no evidence to suggest that the UK has exported any COVID vaccines at all, as it relies on complex legal arrangements with manufacturers.
Meanwhile, the EU has exported at least 8 million doses to the UK.
EU plans vaccine passport, vaccinations still slow
#AceHealthReport – Mar.21: The European Union could stop AstraZeneca from exporting its COVID-19 vaccine from the bloc if the British-Swedish pharma company does not meet its supply obligations, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in comments published on Saturday.
‘EU warns AstraZeneca of export ban if bloc not supplied first: European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen has upped the pressure on pharma company AstraZeneca, threatening to forbid planned exports until the firm fulfils its obligations to Europe in comments on Saturday’
“We have the possibility to forbid planned exports. That is the message to AstraZeneca: You fulfill your contract with Europe before you start delivering to other countries,” von der Leyen told newspapers from the Funke Media Group.
She said the company had delivered only 30% of the doses promised in the first quarter of 2021. She also pointed out that although the contract with AstraZeneca had stipulated that the EU would receive vaccines from factories in the EU and Britain, “we have received nothing from the Britons, while we deliver vaccines to them.”
Despite the confidence exuded by von der Leyen here, the EU is having grave problems with its vaccination drive.
Von der Leyen referred to statistics showing that at least 41 million doses of coronavirus vaccine had been exported from the EU to 33 countries, despite a shortfall in vaccine supplies in the bloc itself. According to the commission, 9 million doses have gone from the EU to the UK and a million to the US.
“I cannot justify to European citizens why we export millions of vaccine doses to countries that produce vaccines themselves — and from whom nothing comes back,” von der Leyen said. “And I can barely justify exports to countries that have a much higher vaccination rate and far fewer infections than the EU.”
She called on other countries to reciprocate the EU’s openness and said the bloc was inviting national leaders for discussion.
Vaccination programs in the EU, including Germany, have been comparatively slow in getting underway, partly because of a lack of doses.
#AceFinanceReport – Mar.19: The EU had given Crest temporary permission to continue settling Irish securities in London until the migration was completed. Crest is part of the Euroclear group.
While the transfer does not have immediate implications for jobs and tax revenues in Britain, it is a further sign of how its financial services industry is being cut off from the EU.
‘Pan-European exchange Euronext, which runs the Irish stock exchange, said Thursday it had completed the migration of securities settlement for 50 Irish companies from Crest in London to Euroclear Bank in Brussels from March 15’
Settlement of EU securities must take place in a central securities depository (CSD) inside the bloc.
The migration follows shifts in euro stock and derivatives trading from London to the bloc, with Brussels now targeting the clearing of derivatives.
“The wholesale migration of settlement of securities from one CSD to another is unprecedented,” said Daryl Byrne, CEO of Euronext Dublin.
“We now have long-term certainty about the trading and post-trade infrastructure for the Irish market in a post-Brexit world, which ensures that Ireland remains an attractive jurisdiction for listed companies and market participants in the years ahead,” Byrne said.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.16: The protocol is the part of the Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland and has led to the creation of a new trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Brexit: EU to begin legal action over alleged NI Protocol breach: ‘The European Commission’s vice president said he hopes the issue can be resolved without further legal action’ as the EU has begun legal action against the UK over its alleged breach of the NI Protocol as the EU says UK grace period extension breaches law
1 hour ago
By John Campbell BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor
It could lead to the UK having to defend its actions at the European Court of Justice.
Maroš Šefčovič said the EU’s preference is for “collaborative, pragmatic and constructive” political discussions.
Earlier this month the UK government changed how the protocol is being implemented without EU agreement.
It delayed the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets.
It also moved unilaterally to ease the trade in horticultural products across from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
The European Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to the UK saying these actions breach the substantive provisions of the protocol as well as the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement.
It has asked the UK to respond within a month before it decides on further legal steps.
Mr Šefčovič has separately sent a “political letter” to David Frost, the UK minister in charge of Brexit.
It calls for the UK to enter into good faith consultations in the Joint Committee, the body which oversees the protocol, with the aim of reaching a mutually agreed solution by the end of this month.
Mr Šefčovič said: “The EU and the UK agreed the protocol together. We are also bound to implement it together.
“Unilateral decisions and international law violations by the UK defeat its very purpose and undermine trust between us. The UK must properly implement it if we are to achieve our objectives.”
Speaking earlier the prime minister said he actions taken by the UK were “temporary and technical measures that we think are very sensible”.
Asked about it on a visit to Coventry today the prime minister said: “What I would say to our friends in Brussels is the protocol is there to uphold and guarantee, to buttress the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process.”
He said it has always been “very important the wishes and consent of both communities in Northern Ireland are properly reflected in in the outcome and that it should guarantee of trade and movement not just north/south but east/west as well”.
He added that the UK looked “forward to our discusses with our EU friends and see where we get to”.
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?
The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the Brexit deal which prevents a hardening of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
It does that by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU single market for goods.
That has created a new trade border with Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Unionists oppose the protocol, arguing that it has damaged internal trade from GB to NI and poses a risk to the future of the UK union.
But anti-Brexit parties in NI say that it must be implemented in full, and that issues should be worked out through joint UK-EU processes.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.12: Shoukry said during a discussion with Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, that Ethiopia’s decision to unilaterally fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have negative repercussions and stressed the importance of global involvement to resolve the case, news channel Al-Arabiya reported:
Egypt & EU FM’s discuss Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam crisis: “ Meanwhile, Borrell tweeted that the “EU will keep working closely… with Egypt for a prosperous neighbourhood according to Arab News sources
March 11, 2021 11:20:
I spoke last evening with #Egypt FM Shoukry. Good and open discussion on regional developments incl #GERD, Libya & bilateral relations in view of the new Agenda for the Mediterranean. EU will keep working closely engaging with #Egypt for a prosperous neighbourhood.@MfaEgypt
Egypt last month said it has endorsed a Sudanese proposal to internationalize arbitration in the years-long dispute with Ethiopia over the dam that Addis Ababa is building on the Blue Nile. Shuokry said Cairo backs the formation of an “international quartet” including the US, the European Union, and the UN, along with the African Union to facilitate reaching a deal on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam. The dispute centers on how much water Ethiopia will release downstream if a multi-year drought occurs and how the three countries would settle any future disputes. Egypt and Sudan also call for a legally binding agreement on the dam’s filling and operation, while Ethiopia insists on guidelines.
#AceNewsServices – BRUSSELS – November 03 – German chancellor Angela Merkel would reportedly prefer the UK to leave the EU than have Downing Street limit the free movement of people EUobserver reported.
Unnamed sources in the German government told the German weekly Der Spiegel that if UK plans to place a cap on unskilled EU migrants would be a step too far for the German Chancellor.
“Should Cameron persist [in this plan], chancellor Angela Merkel would abandon her efforts to keep Britain in the EU. With that a point of no return would be reached,” the source said.
Merkel’s opposition to changing EU rules on free movement may have influenced another decision by the UK over the weekend to drop quotas on EU migrants and instead plan to impose a ban on those who do not have a job or cannot support themselves after three months.
The Sunday Times says prime minister David Cameron, in an upcoming speech, intends to lay out his anti-immigrant ideas that would instead stretch EU rules “to their limits” in order to appease Merkel.
Merkel’s “point of no return” admission is significant because it is the first time she has floated the idea of a possible UK exit from the EU.
The German chancellor is not opposed to placing restrictions on EU nationals who abuse another member state’s social system but is firmly opposed to the fundamental right of free movement of people being curtailed.
“Germany does not want to touch the basic principle of free movement of persons within the EU,” said one German official.
The welfare abuse restrictions already generated controversy last year when the then EU commission for justice Viviane Reding warned against “unfounded wrong perceptions” about welfare tourism. Under EU rules, member states can ask an EU national to leave if they become a “burden”.
UK politicians, including home secretary Theresa May and Ukip leader Nigel Farage, spoke out against potential mass migration in the run-up to lifting all restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian workers in January 2014.
#AceNewsServices – November 02 – Most of the provisional application of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU came into force on Saturday, except for the section on creating a free trade area which will be launched on January 1, 2016.
“The provisional application will cover important areas such as the rule of law, the fight against crime and corruption as well as intensified sectorial cooperation,” said a joint statement by the presidents of Ukraine, the European Council, and the European Commission. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has congratulated Ukrainians, adding on his Facebook page that the next goal is to join the EU.
#AceNewsServices – CANADA – October 08 – The European Commission has proposed a directive that abandons obligatory labelling of tar sands oil as highly polluting, opening way for Canada’s sands crude imports and drawing criticism for putting oil producers’ interests above the environment.
‘ Alberta Tar Sands ‘
In light of recent economic tensions with Russia and the EU’s energy dependence on its eastern neighbour, the European Commission has published a proposal, the text of which removes one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Alberta exporting its oil sands crude to Europe.
The revised draft still has to be approved by EU member-states before being passed on to the European Parliament.
“The commission is today (Tuesday) giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
“It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states,” Hedegaard added. “I strongly recommend Member States to adopt this proposal and keep the safeguards that will allow cleaner fuels to be used in transport across Europe.”
The desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor in revising the draft said EU sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters.
Oil sands crude is more damaging to the environment as it emits more carbon over its life-cycle, but under the new draft that was EU will be counting it in the same category as conventional oil, opening way for larger imports from Canada.
The debate about labelling tar sands crude, in the EU started in 2009 when the block approved legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gases from fuel by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.
The law is part of the EUs broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – September 30 – Prime Minister David Cameron says Britain’s departure from the European Union would not leave him heartbroken, emphasizing that he feels “1,000 times more strongly about the UK than the EU.”
‘ The EU is “not working properly” for Britons at present, according to PM David Cameron. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor) ‘
Speaking on the BBC’s Today program, the PM said the union is “not working properly”for the British populace at present. Cameron suggested that the best solution for Britain is to secure a “reformed position in the EU,”because the British state is ultimately a trading nation. The Tory leader argued that the UK government does not just want access to EU markets, but also wishes to retain leverage over trade regulations that underpin those markets.
The state’s future membership of the EU is a “matter of important pragmatism,” Cameron said, rather than one of possible heartbreak – a phrase he issued prior to the Scottish independence referendum. While he acknowledged it “is going to be tough” to renegotiate the UK’s standing on the European stage, he said he was confident he would be successful in doing so.
Cameron emphasized that the widespread dissatisfaction across Europe – stemming from the manner in which the euro is driving integration throughout the region – would give Britain extra leverage in negotiating its EU membership status.
The PM’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership terms drew extra support in May, following rising dissent against Brussels that surfaced during the European elections.
Cameron’s comments were issued just one day after John Redwood, a Conservative former cabinet minister, warned that high-ranking corporate executives who publicly back Britain’s EU membership will face a “very dear economic and financial price.”
Redwood, a prominent figure within the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing, warned UK-based firms to “keep out” of the debate, insisting they should beware of meddling in politics.
Speaking at a fringe gathering, Redwood suggested that eurosceptics would seek to destabilize pro-EU executives.
Redwood, a prominent figure within the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic wing, has warned UK-based firms to “keep out” of Britain’s EU membership debate. (Reuters/Luke MacGregor)
“[We] will then make life difficult for them by making sure that their customers, their employees and their shareholders who disagree with them – and there will be a lot who disagree with them – will be expressing their views very forcefully and will be destabilizing their corporate governance,” he said.
Reflecting on his hawkish eurosceptic comments, Labour MP Barry Sheerman said that Redwood had “finally flipped.”
Katja Hall, deputy director-general of Britain’s most prolific business lobby CBI, also criticized Redwood’s comments.
“On an issue of such great importance to the UK’s economic future, business has both the right and duty to be involved in the debate. The vast majority of businesses are clear that Britain’s continued membership of a reformed EU is in the country’s interest,” she told RT.
Cameron has recently faced increasing pressure to harden his stance on Europe in the wake of a series of defections by eurosceptic Tories and Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party. The defectors collectively suggested the prime minister would be unlikely to retain his promise to hold an EU membership referendum in Britain in 2017, should the Tories manage to cling to their position of power in the aftermath of Britain’s upcoming general election.
Cameron indicated on Sunday that he has not entirely ruled out Britain’s departure from the EU. “If I thought that it was not in Britain’s interests to be in the European Union, I would not argue for us to be in it,” Cameron told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show.