Tweets of the Week: Brexit transport, migration, and US downgrades EU

Welcome back to EURACTIV’s Tweets of the Week. Happy 2019!

This week, Brexit transport plans are totally cracked,
migrants saved thanks to EU pact
and Donald Trump displays his usual tact.

This episode is supported by Medicines for Europe. More from them at end.

It’s a new year, but it’s still the same old Brexit nonsense. This week, to the amusement of almost everyone on this side of La Manche, the UK organised a traffic jam. Yes really.

The plan was to demonstrate how super organised the transport network is to cope with road haulage in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

However it didn’t got quite like that. As Morrison Freight tweeted “with less than 100 lorries involved, compared to the 10,000 or so that transit through the port on a daily basis, it does seem to be a somewhat unrealistic exercise.

Nice understatement.

Nick Pettigrew reckons “Couldn’t organise a traffic jam in Kent” is the new standard measure of incompetence.

And a lot of people thought this must be what Brits mean by “innovative jam”.

But the thread du jour must surely go to Indy journalist Tom Peck, who said he’s never been on an assignment anywhere near as stupid as this.

Exactly! As if the British need to practice queuing, scoffed Berlaymonster.

But British transport woes don’t end there: On Tuesday Heathrow took the precautionary measure of halting departures after an alleged drone sighting.

This follows the chaos caused by drones at Gatwick over Christmas pointed out Jack Parrock.

But there’s always ferries, right? Wrong.

In more top notch Brexit preparation, a major ferry contract has been awarded to a company that doesn’t have any, you guessed it, boats!

One account suggested this SeaborneFreight vessels are undergoing secret sea trials.

But, it seems that, as well as not having any ferries, SeaborneFreight doesn’t even have contracts to operate from the two ports from which these non-existent ferries should operate.

Oh yes, and their T&Cs are for a pizza delivery company.

You really couldn’t make it up!

Speaking of the UK and boats. Around 40 migrants braved the channel by dinghy to illegally enter the UK over the Christmas period. The government has called it a “crisis” and a a “major incident.”

Leading many, many people to point out that it’s nothing compared to the numbers attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

Indeed as Twitter scoffed at the British overreaction – war ships anyone? – a slightly more major incident was playing out in the waters of Malta.

As a refugee rescue boat was stranded off the coast with nowhere to go for almost 20 days.

The Seawatch vessel, run by a Germany charity was finally allowed to disembark
the 49 migrants who will be taken in by Germany, France, Portugal, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania, and Ireland.

Commissioner Avramopoulos commended Malta and the other EU countries involved.

But Udo Bullmann said it remains a shame that it took EU governments more than two weeks to find a solution for people in dire need.

Finally it looks as though another diplomatic storm is brewing as the Trump administration downgraded EU mission to US.

And then forgot to tell anyone!

It only became evident when the EU ambassador was called up last at Former President George Bush’s funeral instead of the usual order of length of service.

Alice Stollmeyer said it was further proof of Trump preferring autocracies over democracies. And another gift to Putin.

Samantha Power added that instead of doing actual diplomacy, Trump officials seem to sit around brainstorming about how they can further insult friends and damage alliances.

Brexit, refugees and Trumplomacy – new year, same sh*t.

This week we are supported by Medicines for Europe, find out how they think Europe can avoid delocalisation of medicine production with a comprehensive SPC waiver.

That’s it for this week, remember to subscribe so you don’t miss us every Friday.

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