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The Brief: Robots will rule us with their iron fists

The Brief: Robots will rule us with their iron fists

The Brief is's evening newsletter.


Robots. They can’t be reasoned with, they don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop – ever.

One MEP stands between humanity and its total enslavement by robot overlords. Her name is Mady Delvaux, and she is a socialist from Luxembourg.

Her weapon? A European Parliament report. Put that in your pipes and smoke it, legions of iron men. Look upon the power of Brussels bureaucracy, you metal megalomaniacs, and despair!

Mady is writing an own initiative report, the world’s first, on the relentless rise of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence. The European Commission must react to the paper.

In this exclusive interview, she warns, “My main concern is that humans are not dominated by robots, but that robots serve the humans.”

This is not science fiction, this is terrifying fact. Terminator, Westworld, Short Circuit 2, Blade Runner – they weren’t movies, they were documentaries from the future.

Mady is calling for a European agency for robotics to monitor developments such as the creation of artificial sentient beings and cyborgs.

Many people accuse the European Parliament of being irrelevant. If pan-EU oversight saves us from the android armies, they will be proved very, very wrong.

But there is still much work to be done. Where is the report on the threat posed to the human race by super-evolved apes?

This Brief is powered by acumen public affairs.


The UK’s Commissioner Julian King made his debut in the Commission press room today. He urged laggardly member states to speed up their anti-terror work, but King was evasive over Brexit.

The security tsar said he could only speculate about the UK government’s positions now that he works for the European Commission.

But he added that Prime Minister Theresa May recently said Britain should keep up “the closest possible cooperation” with the EU on law enforcement and counter-terrorism, and that Brexit would not disrupt the peace process in Ireland.

May has given into pressure to allow MPs to debate Brexit before Article 50 is triggered. But she stopped short of giving them a formal vote on it or any final Brexit deal. The government faces a court challenge over the issue tomorrow.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davies has accused Treasury officials of undermining the Brexit negotiations as part of a “desperate strategy” to keep the UK in the single market.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabien Picardo has met the European Parliament’s Brexit pointman Guy Verhofstadt. In this interview, filmed before the referendum, Picardo discussed Brexit and monkey Viagra.

Eurostar will cut 80 jobs and reduce journey numbers to London by 8% because of Brexit. The German cabinet discussed curbs on welfare payments to EU citizens, something the Brits were pushing for before the referendum vote.

The World Health Organisation is furious over allegations that its members aren’t paying into the UN’s tobacco agency. 800 million people go to bed hungry every night and Putin won’t go to Paris after all.

The Paris Agreement is great but how exactly are we going to pay for the fight against global warming? Italy wants EU funding cut in member states that refuse to take refugees.

We don’t Belgium-bash at The Brief. But we do want to know if anyone has been forced to brush their teeth by a Belgian cop

Exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar was shortlisted for the Sakharov human rights prize. Here is an excellent piece he wrote after the failed coup.

Here’s yet more evidence that Luke “Kim” Flanagan is the most fun MEP in Brussels.


Germany’s constitutional court will announce at 10AM tomorrow whether the EU-Canada trade deal breaks German law.

If the court shoots down the trade deal, it will leave CETA in last-minute limbo. EU trade ministers are supposed to approve it at a meeting next Tuesday.

The court held a hearing today after several complaints were filed, including two of the biggest ever legal complaints in German history. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel travelled to the Karlsruhe court, and warned against stopping CETA. “For Europe it would be a catastrophe,” Gabriel said.

Meanwhile, MEP Jose Bove, a critic of the deal, was barred from Canada. Maybe Justin Trudeau isn’t such a nice bloke after all…