This week it’s another Brexit delay, Good Friday, and bad air qualit-ay. This episode is sponsored by CEN and CENELEC.
So this week you’ve all been tweeting about the Brexit…
Listen, do I have to do Brexit this week? Don’t you think everyone is sick and tired of it by now? Fine…
So this week you’ve all been tweeting about the Brexit delay, Good Friday and bad air qualit-ay.
Wednesday would see EU leaders meet to decide whether to grant Britain a Brexit delay or basically kick the Brits out into the wilderness of no-deal.
It all started with embattled UK PM Theresa May publishing a bizarre video in which she tried to explain to anyone who would listen where we were actually at with Brexit.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) April 7, 2019
I am Happy Toast wasted no time in making a fiery addition to May’s clip.
Brussels-London relations took another hit when man-of-the-people Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Uk should be as difficult as possible if remaining in the EU. Fellow arch-Brexiteer MP Mark Francois said the rest of Europe would be dealing with ‘Perfidious Albion on speed’.
If a long extension leaves us stuck in the EU we should be as difficult as possible. We could veto any increase in the budget, obstruct the putative EU army and block Mr Macron’s integrationist schemes.
— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) April 5, 2019
One twitter user rightly pointed out that perfidious means deceitful and untrustworthy.
Perfidious means deceitful and untrustworthy, Mark. pic.twitter.com/xAfhhMM7V6
— . (@twlldun) April 9, 2019
Future historians when chronicling Brexit will surely be baffled by the bizarre terminology it has thrown up.
Fears that the UK would make a nuisance of itself led to the coining of the ‘sincere cooperation’ clause, while Adam Fleming came up with ‘the ejector seat’. ‘Flexible extension’ was condensed down into the horrendous ‘flextension’, which pushed Ian Dunt to plead with everyone to just use proper words for things.
5. Sincere cooperation – effectively Rees Mogg clause pic.twitter.com/JigowjS0gQ
— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) April 9, 2019
The 💥EJECTOR SEAT CLAUSE💥 is the name I've given to the bit of the draft EU27 #Brexit conclusions which say the UK must leave on 1st June if it hasn't participated in the European Parliament elections. I'm really enjoying saying it.
— Adam Fleming (@adamfleming) April 10, 2019
Please. Please can we call it flexible extension and not flextension. Not everything has to be shit. We can use proper words for things.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) April 5, 2019
Unfortunately, Euractiv can’t take the high ground on this one, thanks to the fact that we were directly involved in spawning and unleashing ‘Brexit’ on the world in the first place. Sorry about that…
Donc seulement quelques mois après la première utilisation de ce mot en anglais: https://t.co/DWzD3w5oev
— Andrew Glencross (@A_Glencross) April 6, 2019
As a brief interlude to the Brexit shenanigans, the EU Commission revealed the first ever picture of a black hole.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) April 10, 2019
Twitter wasted no time in making cracks about the UK, of course, with Eliot Higgins sniping that we’re now more certain about what a black hole looks like than what Brexit looks like.
We're now more certain about what blackholes look like than what Brexit looks like.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) April 10, 2019
So Wednesday evening arrived, the leaders gathered and it was France throwing its toys out of the pram the most. Bruno Waterfield reported on how Emmanuel Macron wanted the UK to renounce its veto, while The Guardian said that Britain would have to give up its European Commissioner.
France wants, UK to renounce its veto during the extension. "No veto, no participation in blocking minorities"
"UK will not obstruct decisions taken at 27" – France will push for "that sentence to be introduced in the text"
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) April 10, 2019
UK set to lose European commissioner role over Brexit delay https://t.co/sZOAQxg5QE
— Guardian news (@guardiannews) April 10, 2019
Over a frankly unappetising sounding meal, detailed here by Nick Gutteridge, they tried to figure out what to do with the UK. Joe Barnes revealed that Jean-Claude Juncker was not entirely happy with the fuss Macron had been making.
EU leaders’ dinner menu for tonight:
Warm scallop salad (🤢)
Cod loin with brown mushrooms
Ice macadamia nut parfait
Lucky old Theresa doesn’t have to eat this as she’s going back to the UK residence for a meal with her staff.
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) April 10, 2019
Jean-Claude Juncker was ‘really annoyed’ with Emmanuel Macron, according to diplomatic source. ‘France went on its own and has broken EU unity, it surprises us,’ a source rants to me!
— Joe Barnes (@Barnes_Joe) April 10, 2019
And just like that, the spectre of no-deal evaporated, Council boss Donald Tusk unveiled a new exit date of 31 October and made an impassioned plea to Westminster not to waste its time.
EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 10, 2019
Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, as Sam Coates pointed out that MPs will not be back to debate anything until after Easter.
Tusk: “Please do not waste this time”
UK: The Commons rise today at 5pm and will not return until Tuesday April 23
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) April 11, 2019
One thing we do at least know now is that the UK will probably have to take part in the EU elections in May.
The lord mayor of Sheffield, Magid Magid, has already said he will stand as an MEP. Magid rose to prominence last year when he dubbed Donald Trump a ‘wasteman’ and banned the US president from his city.
📢 *Calling All Green Party Members in Yorkshire & The Humber!
I’m standing to be the ‘lead’ candidate in the crucial upcoming EU Elections. Please vote for me as your 1st preference. Voting starts tomorrow & you'll receive an email.
— 🚀MΛG!D (@MagicMagid) April 9, 2019
I Magid Magid, Lord Mayor & first citizen of this city hereby declare that not only is Donald J Trump (@realDonaldTrump) a WASTEMAN, but he is also henceforth banned from the great city of Sheffield!
I further declare July 13th to be Mexico Solidarity Day! 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/qYehdHYDEt
— 🚀MΛG!D (@MagicMagid) July 4, 2018
But this week was more significant than just the Brexit that never was, as the Good Friday Agreement turned 21 years old.
This day 21 years ago – 10 April 1998 – the Good Friday Agreement was signed by the British and Irish governments.
Described as a “truly historic opportunity,” it pledged “close co-operation between their countries as friendly neighbours and as partners in the European Union.” pic.twitter.com/abkMfRytwN
— This Day in Irish History (@ThisDayIrish) April 10, 2019
MEP Marietje Schaake said that the preamble to the peace treaty should’ve been read out at the Brexit summit, while John Hyphen shared a copy of the agreement that includes a very special signature by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
— Marietje Schaake (@MarietjeSchaake) April 10, 2019
on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a reminder that Gerry Adams signed this one with xoxox pic.twitter.com/PAE4R3kjUI
— 🐎John Hyphen🎮 (@JohnHyphen) April 10, 2019
If you want to learn more about Northern Ireland and its border with the Republic, then check out Beatriz Rios and Mike Ball’s great documentary.
In February, @EURACTIV travelled to #NorthernIreland and the border counties of #Ireland to better understand the potential impact of #Brexit in the #IrishBorder. Ahead of tomorrow's summit, it remains a controversial issue.
Watch the full documentary 👇https://t.co/KKMXFWDI7S pic.twitter.com/HEai1IrIDm
— Beatriz Ríos (@BeaRios_) April 9, 2019
This is all a bit heavy though isn’t it? It’s hard not to agree with Bearded Genius and yearn for a simpler political time when Francois Hollande had an entire year of bad handshakes.
Let’s recall simpler times in European diplomacy, and François Hollande’s ‘year of bad handshakes’ in 2014 pic.twitter.com/ZsDA5dCJpC
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) April 10, 2019
If any of you have been feeling a bit under the weather this week, there might be a reason other than brexit. Air pollution skyrocketed thanks to traffic, agriculture and bad weather.
#AirPollution (PM2.5) in Brussels has been way above the @WHO guideline values for the last few days. The transport sector has a big share of responsibility and this is an umpteenth reminder that it needs to be cleaned up urgently! https://t.co/l2PNMl6lfq pic.twitter.com/ymqPKBgfqa
— Transport & Environment (@transenv) April 9, 2019
Jon Stone said the conditions were absolutely awful and that motorists were completely oblivious to the plight of pedestrians.
The pollution in Brussels today is absolutely awful. Can barely breathe walking down the street, next to people sitting in stationary traffic completely oblivious to it all
— Jon Stone (@joncstone) April 9, 2019
Pollution levels actually got so bad that the authorities issued a warning and urged people to leave their cars at home. But as Alison A pointed out, telling people in the metro was a bit preaching to the converted, while Jori Keijsper suggested that a push alert sent to smartphones would be a better idea.
Rather preaching to the converted putting that on signs *in the metro*. I hope it is blazed over the motorways too.
— Alison A (@AlisonBrux) April 9, 2019
The scheme should include a push alert to smart phones to warn everyone but drivers specifically. Wouldn’t they otherwise still take the car?
— Jori Keijsper (@JoriKeijsper) April 10, 2019
Maybe Brussels will take a leaf out of London’s book, which, faced with a public health crisis launched an ultra-low emissions zone, the first of its kind in the world.
A world first today — our Ultra Low Emission Zone is now in effect in central London, making our air safer for everyone. Retweet now. #LetLondonBreathe #ULEZ #Airpollution #CleanAir pic.twitter.com/Xt5t5guQD7
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) April 8, 2019
This week we were supported by CEN and CENELEC, check out their tweet here to learn all about how setting standards is essential to how the EU actually functions.
Standards are key to making #Europe an innovation leader! #TrustStandards & discover the 5 priorities where #standards play an essential role in #Europe to achieve its policy objectives 🏆 ➡️ https://t.co/n38Id8nnKC@Elenacencenelec #EUelections2019 #EUelections #FutureofEurope pic.twitter.com/FR0Fu4xYiu
— CEN and CENELEC (@Standards4EU) April 9, 2019
Tune back in next time for more tweets, now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go home and I don’t fancy my chances out there.