Benjamin Fox

Brexit 03-07-2020

UK faces extra €2bn EU pensions bill

The UK faces being slapped with a surprise €2 billion EU pensions bill, as a result of a 21% increase in EU officials' pension liabilities.
Coronavirus 03-07-2020

Belgium and most EU countries exempted from UK travel restrictions

The UK will lift its two week quarantine requirements for people travelling to and from most EU countries from next week, as Boris Johnson’s government continues to ease restrictions put in place to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Brexit 02-07-2020

Post-Brexit trade pact suffers setback as ‘disagreements’ end talks early

The prospects of a post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal being brokered this year suffered a new setback on Thursday (2 July) as the first round of in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic broke up a day earlier with both sides citing ‘significant disagreements’.
Brexit 02-07-2020

The Brief – Global Britain: We’re just not that into EU

As vacuous slogans go, ‘Global Britain’, launched when Theresa May took over Brexit Britain from David Cameron in 2016, has been hard to beat. In 2018, UK lawmakers urged the government to set out what its international partners could expect...
Brexit 01-07-2020

COVID-19 pandemic poses new risks to EU citizens in UK, rights groups warn

The coronavirus pandemic risks creating new problems and uncertainty for potential applicants to the UK's EU Settlement Scheme and those who have already been given pre-settled status, citizens’ rights groups have warned Boris Johnson's government.
Future EU 30-06-2020

The Brief – Keep out, Karlsruhe

After the sound and fury from Karlsruhe in May, the German Constitutional Court’s misguided attempt to rage against the European machine appears to have ended with something of a whimper.
Brexit 30-06-2020

UK sets September deadline for EU trade deal

The UK has earmarked September as its deadline for agreeing on a new trade deal with the EU after negotiators held their first face-to-face meetings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Politics 26-06-2020

The Brief – The battle for hearts and minds rages on

The four year anniversary of the Great Liberation - or Great Unpleasantness - depending on your point of view, passed without much comment this week. For those in the UK, and most of Europe, who were heartily fed up of the never-ending futility of Brexit, that is cause for some celebration.
Development Policy 26-06-2020

EU among group pushing for relaxation of debt relief rules

The EU, along with a group of countries, is pushing for a relaxation in how debt relief is defined in the latest round of talks at the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on Thursday (25 June), EURACTIV understands.
Coronavirus 23-06-2020

The Brief – Keep the taps flowing

A cold beer always tastes best when drunk with friends after work on a summer’s day. As most of Europe continues to emerge from the deprivations of lockdown, this pillar of basic human happiness is returning to the social calendar.
Brexit 19-06-2020

UK lawmakers back Brexit compromise to avoid ‘no deal’ chaos

UK lawmakers have urged Boris Johnson and Michel Barnier to broker a compromise to avoid an economically damaging ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
Botswana 18-06-2020

COVID-19 has posed ‘stress test’ for EU-Africa relations

The coronavirus pandemic has been a ‘stress test’ for EU-Africa relations ahead of plans for an ambitious reset of political and trade ties between the two continents this autumn.
Botswana 18-06-2020

Botswana’s virus food prep puts long-term plans on hold

“Botswana has not been spared by the wave of COVID-19,” says Jimmy Opelo, Permanent Secretary at Botswana’s agricultural ministry, who revealed how his country has had to change its tack on farm policymaking due to the pandemic.
Brexit 17-06-2020

The Brief – Ambition alone won’t pay the EU’s COVID-19 bill

Back in the dog days of 2012 and 2013, even the best friends of Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy – then running the EU show – would have struggled to argue that their EU budget blueprint was ambitious. It was deliberately and consciously timid.
Economy & Jobs 16-06-2020

Trouble brewing for UK pubs with post-COVID distancing rules

Grant Convey sums up the existential threat facing the UK pub industry in eight words: “We can’t survive with the two-metre rule”. And many of his colleagues agree.
Brexit 15-06-2020

Johnson and von der Leyen kick the Brexit can into autumn

Trade talks between the European Union and the UK will be stepped up in July with a view to brokering a deal in the autumn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed on Monday (15 June)
Brexit 12-06-2020

UK repeats ‘no extension’ mantra but backtracks on import controls

The UK government said on Friday (12 June) that it had given the EU formal notice it would not agree to an extension on the post-Brexit trade talks, while at the same time taking a step back on its position for import controls.
12-06-2020

The Brief – EU-Africa relations in a post-COVID world

One of the last acts of the European Commission before the coronavirus pandemic hit was to publish its strategy paper on future EU-Africa relations. Such geopolitical considerations seem like a distant memory, but they are coming back to the fo
Brexit 11-06-2020

Business leaders warn about ‘no deal’ Brexit as battle lines harden

UK business leaders warned on Thursday (11 June) that they were being led towards a no-deal Brexit that they are ill-prepared for, as both the EU and UK negotiators toughen their stances.
Non-discrimination 10-06-2020

The Brief – Europe’s race blindspot

In much of Europe, institutional racism is so deeply ingrained that millions of white people don’t even notice it. Those in much of provincial Europe could be forgiven for not seeing it. But we delude ourselves if we believe that...
Brexit 05-06-2020

No breakthrough in Brexit stalemate, admits Barnier

The stalemate on EU-UK trade talks remains unbroken both sides conceded on Friday (5 June), with the EU again accusing London of attempting to back-track on its commitments made in the Withdrawal Agreement that took the UK out of the bloc in January.
Development Policy 04-06-2020

EU, UK back new vaccine fund after COVID-19 disrupts immunisation

Leaders pledged more than $7.5 billion to finance the distribution of vaccines to combat infectious diseases in the world’s poorest countries over the next five years at a UK-hosted Global Vaccine summit on Thursday (4 June).
Coronavirus 03-06-2020

UK lawmakers attack Johnson government over 14 day quarantine rules

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was on Wednesday (3 June) accused of acting too late and inflicting major damage on tourism after announcing that it will impose new quarantine requirements that force people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days from 8 June.
Botswana 02-06-2020

Africa hits back against EU’s name and shame game

The question of tax avoidance and financial information exchange remains a sore point for EU-African relations, and the European Commission’s annual lists of ‘non co-operative’ countries on tax and money laundering laws have done little to improve the situation.
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