The coming USE -EU leaders gang up on Theresa May

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The coming USE -EU leaders gang up on Theresa May
« on: December 17, 2016, 06:42:44 PM »
The coming USE -EU leaders gang up on Theresa May


 Theresa May slaps down demands by the EU that the Brexit negotiations are conducted in French Watch | May: I want mature co-operative relationship with Europe
Laura Hughes, Political Correspondent
21 October 2016 • 3:27pm
EU leaders gang up on Theresa May
Donald Tusk: I want Britain to stay in EU
May to hold talks with Jean-Claude Juncker
David Davis: The UK is the 'vital union' for Scotland
Theresa May has slapped down demands by the EU that the Brexit negotiations are conducted in French, as she rebuked European leaders for their lack of maturity.
The Prime Minister used her first European Council meeting to dismiss calls by  Michel Barnier, the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, for the "working language" of the exit talks to be in French.
She also suggested that "immature" EU leaders are looking for "problems" rather than "opportunities" during the Brexit talks. And she made clear that she intends to negotiate trade deals ahead of Britain's formal exit from the EU, despite threats of legal action from Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission.
 Watch | Journalist clashes with Jean-Claude Juncker: are you the British PM?


Mr Barnier was on Friday reported to have demanded that EU and British officials conduct all major Brexit talks in French, in what was seen as an attempt to humiliate Mrs May at her first Brussels summit.
Asked about his view, Mrs May said: "We will conduct the negotiations in the way that means we are going to get the right deal for Britain."
Aides made clear that Mrs May will refuse any attempt by the EU to use French during the negotiations. Minutes after Mrs May's angry response, Mr Barnier tweeted that he is yet to decide in which language the negotiation will be conducted.
Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the European Summit
The Prime Minister faced a series of threats from her counterparts last night as she arrived at the European Council meeting in Brussels.
European People's Party leader Manfred Weber expressed anger that the UK was blocking some long-term EU defence measures.
 He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "When somebody wants to leave a club, it's not really normal that such a member who wants to leave a club wants to decide about the future of this club. That is really creating a lot of anger, the behaviour of the British Government.
Theresa May  Credit: Roge/Belga via/REX/Shutterstock
On arrival, Mrs May said: "The UK is leaving the EU, but we will continue to play a full role until we leave and we will be a strong and dependable partner after we have left."
"It's in the interests of both the UK and the EU that we continue to work closely together, including at this summit."
Later today she will hold talks with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, who is expected to criticise her over signals that the Government is pushing for a clean break from Brussels rather than a compromise solution.
Hard vs soft brexit - what do the terms mean? 1:55PM
May slaps down suggestion negotiations will be in French
 Theresa May has slapped down the suggestion that a Brexit negotiator has demanded that Brexit talks should be carried out in French. 
The Prime Minister told a press conference that Britain will conduct them in manner that gets us the "best deal." 
The Prime Minister said it was up to the 27 other countries in the EU "how they are going to conduct" their negotiations.
"But we will continue to play our role as I have done today. I can assure you I haven't been backwards in coming forwards on issues," she said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was no official language for the Brexit talks and "everybody is allowed to speak their own language".
Shortly after Mrs May's press conference, Mr Barnier said the "linguistic regime" would be set at the start of the negotiations.
He tweeted: 'Never expressed myself on negotiation language. Work as often in EN as FR. Linguistic regime to be set at start-to be agreed btw negotiators."
 A 'nervy performance'
That was a surprisingly nervy performance by Theresa May. She gave short, sharp answers on the Brexit question, but - unsurprisingly perhaps - struck a notably more conciliatory tone in Brussels than she did at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham earlier this month.
 EU leaders - who were both alarmed and infuriated by Mrs May's tone at that conference - will be encouraged to hear Prime Minister acknowledge publicly that the forthcoming negotiations will required "give and take" on both sides, to create a deal in both sides' interests.  
On the key question of whether Britain will have access to the Single Market, or membership of it - two very different things - Mrs May is still fudging.
She said that she wanted Britain to be free to trade "with and within" the single market, which neatly covers both bases.
Report from Peter Foster, our Europe Editor
Negotiations will require 'some give and take'
Britain will be an outward looking country and remains committed to continue "trading freely" with Europe, Theresa May has said. 
However, the negotiations will require "some give and take".
She says that the UK is not "turning our backs on our friends and allies" and will continue to be a close partner of the EU once we have left. 
The Prime Minister says Britain and the EU will continue to share same values and that Britain wants a "mature relationship with our European allies. "
If we approach this in a "constructive way", we can have a "powerful new relationship", she says. 
Adding that she has been clear with the EU that Britain is discussing free trade negotiations with other countries.
She adds that the EU will "consider all options" if "atrocities" in Aleppo continue. 
"I can assure you I haven't been backwards in coming forwards on issues", she says. 
EU Brexit negotiator wants divorce talks to be in French 
Michel Barnier, the European Union's lead Brexit negotiator, reportedly wants Brexit talks to be conducted in French. 
"Barnier wants French to be the working language in Brexit negotiations with Britain," a source told Reuters.
An EU spokeswoman said this was not the official line: "There is no language regime for the negotiations," she said.
A spokeswoman for Theresa May said: "We will not comment until we receive a formal request."
Michel Barnier
Osborne: I made mistakes 
George Osborne has admitted that he made "mistakes" during the EU referendum and failed to realise that millions of people were furious with the Government.
He told the BBC's Sunday Politics North West that being a backbencher "is a complete change of life and tempo", adding he now has time to "think about mistakes I've made and how we can put them right."
"I've got to go on learning, not least why the country voted the way it did in the referendum that led to me leaving Downing Street."
"I don't think I properly understood the sense that people had in many communities, particularly in the north of England, that they were completely disconnected from the system, from the way our country was governed, they felt angry about things."
"I think many people used the EU referendum to express that anger."
George Osborne  Credit: REUTERS TV
EU believes Article 50 declaration could be delayed 
 There remains a significant EU constituency that believes that Britain will ultimately balk at Brexit when it is confronted with the reality of the hard choices that the EU 27 say they are determined to impose upon the UK.  
In the latest iteration of this game, an EU diplomatic source who has been sitting in on the talks reports that Michel Barnier, the European Commission's chief negotiator is letting it be known he thinks Theresa May could delay declaring Article 50 until May next year, at least.  
This idea has been fueled, part, by the fact that Mrs May reportedly did not provide a hard date for invoking Article 50 when she spoke at last night's dinner.
 The Team Barnier thinking is that now Mrs May fully realises there will be no pre-negotiation - symbolised by the other 27 EU leaders not responding to her speech last night on Brexit - the British government will need more time to put together it's opening gambit. That may, of course, just be a ruse to keep the pressure on the British side not to slip backwards on the timetable.
 A UK Government spokesperson is quick to shoot down that idea, however.  "There is no change to the timing."
Europe tries to save Canada trade deal
 While Britain frets about Brexit, the Europeans are frantically trying to save the EU-Canada trade deal which is being held up in the Walloon parliament in Belgium.
 An EU diplomat tells me that Canada has said that if the deal isn't passed today, the Canadian PM will not travel to Europe for a signing ceremony next week. Time is running out, and half the European Commission are now in Walloonia trying to sort it out.
 For European's it is a dispiriting display of the EU's governance problems, but also a reminder to the UK that our own EU free trade deal will have to go through a similar ratification process. 
Report from Peter Foster, our Europe Editor in Brussels. 
'We will see what happens'
Asked how talks had gone with Mrs May last night, Jean-Claude Juncker shrugged his shoulders and spluttered "Pfff".
The European Commission president said: "We had no special event with Theresa May yesterday.
"She was explaining what her intentions are. I'll have lunch with her and then we will see what happens."
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker  Credit: AP/Jean Francois Badias
Lunch will be an 'exchange of pleasantries'
Senior EU diplomatic sources have told The Telegraph that the lunch between Mrs May and Mr Juncker will on one level be an “exchange of pleasantries” at which the European Commmission president formally welcomes the new British Prime Minister “to the family”. 
However the EU is also looking to see if Mrs May will “clarify” her speech to the Tory Party Conference earlier this month which were widely seen in Europe as hostile and pointing towards the likelihood of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’. “I am sure for her it will be an opportunity to go through what we have been reading in the press as to what she meant to say - or not - in her speech,” the source added.
UK officials say that Mrs May will not give much away - she is sticking to her mantra of not making any final decisions until Article 50 is declared - but will reiterate that the UK wants the "best possible arrangement between the UK and the EU as close partners" after Brexit.
Report from Peter Foster, our Europe Editor in Brussels. 
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kisses Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Lord Hill cautions against 'stupid Brexit'
The UK's former Brussels commissioner has warned against a "stupid Brexit".
Lord Hill told the BBC's Today programme: "We have this kind of false choice in the UK - often between hard Brexit and soft Brexit. I think the choice is between stupid Brexit and more intelligent Brexit, and that's what we need to go for."
He also cautioned that the EU still believes Britain is ready to backtrack on the Brexit vote. 
He said: "I think there is a surprisingly widely-held view that Britain might still decide to stay in. And I think that partly explains why previously Donald Tusk has talked about it as hard Brexit or no exit.
"I think they also believe when people start to look at the practical consequences of disentangling ourselves from this very complicated relationship, then maybe we will think again.
"I think it is so important that over the months and years ahead we have as many bridges as possible, and try and work through this in a way that secures what is in our mutual best interest, rather than the danger that I can see is that we end up doing something that is mutually self-harming."
Lord Hill
Donald Tusk: I want Britain to stay in EU
The president of the European Council has said he still wants Britain to remain part of the EU. 
Donald Tusk said he would be the "happiest one" if the UK reversed the decision to quit and stuck with the bloc for years to come.
His admission came after Mrs May insisted there would be no second referendum.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at the EU summit in Brussels Credit: REUTERS/Eric Vidal
She told her counterparts directly that Britain would be leaving after suggestions in Europe that the referendum result could be revisited.
But at the end of the summit dinner last night, Mr Tusk told reporters: "It's not our choice and if you ask me I would prefer 28 members not only for the next month, but also for the next years and decades.
"After the decision in the UK we have to respect the decision of the referendum. If it is reversible or not, this is in the British hands.
"I would be the happiest one if it reversible but we now we have to start our formal works."
Donald Tusk, president of the European Union Credit: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
'Britain creating a lot of anger' by blocking long-term EU defence measures
European People's Party leader Manfred Weber expressed anger that the UK was blocking some long-term EU defence measures.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "When somebody wants to leave a club, it's not really normal that such a member who wants to leave a club wants to decide about the future of this club. That is really creating a lot of anger, the behaviour of the British Government.
"It's about the long-term project of the European Union, and the Brits decided not to stay in.
"I think it's totally understandable if we, as Germans, as French, as Italians, think about our - not your - long-term project, please don't stop it, don't block it, because that will have a lot of impact on the Brexit negotiations if you do so.
"It's a question of behaviour, it's a question of respect. You want to go away from the centre of the European debate.
“It is not about institutions in Brussels, its about whether the British prime minister in the next years is still at the table, and the majority decided to not sit anymore on the centre of the European debate, and that is not good.”
Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group Credit: EPA/CUGNOT MATHIEU


Revealed: How Theresa May's fight for British expat rights was met with silence from EU leaders
 Theresa May said the Government plans to push ahead with triggering Article 50 Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Laura Hughes, Political Correspondent
Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
16 December 2016 • 12:22pm
Theresa May told EU leaders "I think I'd better leave now" after they met a short speech about her Brexit ambitions with silence.
Shortly before leaving the summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister made a brief presentation to the 27 leaders on the UK's Brexit position, highlighting her desire to guarantee the rights of migrants.
According to one of the European leader's aides, there was an awkward pause as they waited for her to leave the room before she said: “I think I’d better leave now." .
 Watch | Theresa May: Lonely in Brussels


The source told The Times: "She was very polite but it was a bit embarrassing. It was a difficult moment for diplomatic etiquette." 
In her speech Mrs May also said that the Government plans to push ahead with triggering Article 50, which will formally open two years of Brexit talks, in March despite a Supreme Court case.
European leaders are refusing to enter into discussions about Brexit with Britain until Article 50 is triggered. Earlier this year Mrs May told Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, about her desire to secure an early deal on migrants' rights but was rebuffed.

Enda Kenny, the Irish Taoiseach, said: "She would like to have the question of UK citizens living in Europe and European citizens living in the UK dealt with in the early part of discussions that take."
He disclosed that she also said the Government has "good grounds to appeal" against a High Court ruling which said MPs should be given a vote. He added: "There wasn't any response to either of those comments."
After Mrs May left EU leaders spent just 20 minutes discussing the issue of Brexit at a late night meeting. Donald Tusk, president of the European council, described it as a “short informal meeting”.  
Peter Bone MP has proposed a Bill that would legally force the Government to trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year Credit: James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock
This afternoon Tory MPs are calling for Theresa May to be legally bound to trigger Brexit negotiations by the end of March to stop remain campaigners from sabotaging Britain's exit from the EU.
Peter Bone, the MP for Wellingborough, has proposed a Bill that would legally force the Government to trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year.
The clerk in the House of Commons will read out the title of the Bill, which will automatically go through to be scrutinised in a committee if there are no objections.
 Watch | PM holds talks at EU summit in Brussels


Tory MPs backing the Bill hope that it will make a Supreme Court case on whether MPs should have the power to veto the triggering of Article 50 "irrelevant."
While MPs earlier this month voted overwhelmingly in favour of triggering Article 50 by the end of March, the vote was not binding and carried no legal weight. 
The motion was carried with a majority of 372 MPs. 
The coming USE -EU leaders gang up on Theresa May

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