Benjamin Fox

Brexit 16-04-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Sold down the river

Even those of us who have the rosiest impressions of our politicians know that they all twist the truth. Most get away with it, but the biggest lies have a nasty habit of catching up with them.
EU-Africa 16-04-2021

Successor to EU-Africa Cotonou treaty marks ‘turning point’, says EU

The EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific Community on Thursday (15 April) finalised the successor to the Cotonou agreement, bringing a close to two and a half years of negotiations and repeated delays.
Future EU 15-04-2021

Launch event of EU reform conference will be online focused, says Commissioner

The event formally launching the Conference on the Future of Europe on 9 May is set to be a ‘hybrid’ of online and physical participation because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the EU Commissioner tasked with guiding the process said on Thursday (15 April).
Brexit 15-04-2021

MEPs move closer to ratifying Brexit deal but final date remains unclear

EU lawmakers moved closer to ratifying the bloc’s new trade agreement with the UK on Thursday (15 April), after the European Parliament’s International Trade and Foreign Affairs Committees gave their green light to the pact.
Development Policy 13-04-2021

EU aid spending surges amid COVID pandemic

Development aid from the EU increased by more than 25% last year as funding for programmes to combat COVID-19 and support poorer countries surged, according to data published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday (13 April).
Brexit 09-04-2021

‘Uncertain’ Brexit deal could see UK bound by EU subsidies rules, lawmakers warn

The uncertain legal status of the Northern Ireland Protocol could lead to major confusion and the UK becoming de facto bound by EU subsidy rules, according to a report by UK lawmakers published on Friday (9 April).
Brexit 08-04-2021

Johnson urged to convene all-party talks following riots in Northern Ireland

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to convene all-party talks on Northern Ireland after the sixth night of riots in the province on Wednesday (7 April) left more than 50 police officers injured.
Economy & Jobs 08-04-2021

G20 agrees ‘final extension’ to $10 billion debt service suspension scheme

Developing countries stand to benefit from up to $10 billion in savings after the G20 group of wealthy nations announced on Wednesday (7 April) that it would extend its debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) which launched last May until the end of this year.
Future EU 02-04-2021

The Brief, powered by bp – An elusive elixir: how to unite the right

A “European renaissance based on Christian values” is probably not what Emmanuel Macron and others have in mind when they think about the EU’s future. But that was top of the agenda for Europe’s three populist musketeers on Thursday. After...
Economy & Jobs 01-04-2021

EU states set to benefit from multibillion IMF Special Drawing Rights programme

EU states are set to be among the main beneficiaries next week when international leaders are set to authorise up to $650bn of new ‘Special Drawing Rights’ to help countries badly hit by the Covid pandemic.at the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting on 5 April. 
Elections 30-03-2021

The Brief, powered by bp – Vanity before victory

At the start of the year, Scottish independence looked more likely than ever before. Opinion polls consistently suggested that a majority of Scots would vote for independence should a second referendum be held. The EU, meanwhile, might soon be restored...
Global Europe 29-03-2021

Failure to fund Syrian refugee crisis could prompt new migration, warn UN officials

Failure to properly fund humanitarian aid missions could lead to another wave of Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe, UN officials have warned ahead of an EU-hosted donor summit this week.
EU-Africa 26-03-2021

Healthcare should be at heart of EU-Africa partnership, say MEPs

EU-Africa relations should prioritise healthcare as part of a new partnership of equals, EU lawmakers said as they set out their priorities for talks on a ‘strategic partnership’ between the two continents.
Economy & Jobs 25-03-2021

Transatlantic economic ties face ‘rare opportunity’ for reset

US-EU economic relations are poised to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic and the tensions caused by the Trump administration, according to a new report by the American Chambers of Commerce.
Global Europe 24-03-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Syria’s V day

The 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising passed last week without as much comment as it merited. Next week, the EU will host the fifth international pledging conference tasked with ‘Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region,’ also referred to as ‘Brussels V’.
Brexit 23-03-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – From bad deal to no deal

"Once we have left the EU and have a new trade deal, then we will be friends again." So said many a Brexiteer over the last five years. That argument always struck this reporter as spectacularly naïve, almost as naïve as the notion that both sides would follow the principle of rational self-interest in the negotiations.
Economy & Jobs 23-03-2021

EU chance for ‘Brussels moment’ on human rights reporting, says leading lawmaker

The European Commission is set to propose legislation making it compulsory for companies to ensure that their supply chains are free of human rights and environmental abuse and corruption. And the direction of the debate among national and EU lawmakers, and among companies, is only going one way, says MEP Heidi Hautala.
Brexit 23-03-2021

UK food exports drop 75% in first month of post-Brexit trade

UK food and drink exports to the European Union dropped by 75% in January, the first month of life outside the EU’s single market, according to data published by the UK’s Food and Drink Federation.
19-03-2021

The Brief, powered by Eurochild – Get a grip on toxic vaccine nationalism

COVID vaccines are being mass-produced in plentiful supply. That should mean light at the end of a gruelling year. Yet vaccine nationalism is on the rise while, in the EU at least, case and mortality rates are soaring. It is a toxic combination.

New EU reporting requirements will force firms to ‘get serious’

The European Commission will force companies to "get serious" about due diligence and non-financial reporting as it prepares to table key legislation in the coming months.
EU-Africa 18-03-2021

Tanzanian president Magufuli confirmed dead following health speculation

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country's vice-president announced on Wednesday (16 March) following several weeks of growing speculation and conspiracy theories about his health and whereabouts.

UK gives priority to Indo-Pacific region as part of foreign policy revamp

The UK is set to shift its focus from Europe to the Indo-Pacific region as part of a planned revamp of its foreign, trade and defence policy announced on Tuesday (16 March), which made scarce references to a future EU-UK...
Global Europe 16-03-2021

The Brief, powered by Eurochild – Global Britain struggles to find its voice

Boris Johnson is one of life’s optimists – it’s one of the reasons why Britons keep giving him the benefit of doubt. And the promise of a ‘Global Britain’ pursuing its new course outside the EU is a suitably grand-sounding project for him. But wishing won’t make it so.
Brexit 12-03-2021

UK delays customs checks on EU imports by six months, again

The UK on Thursday (11 March) bowed to pressure from businesses by again delaying customs checks on imports from the EU and elsewhere by six months, to January 2022.