⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
Brexit cannot define us, says Lidington: The UK government and Labour are testing out each other’s ideas as they try to resolve the Brexit deadlock, cabinet minister David Lidington has told the BBC. He said they had a fair bit in common over future customs objectives but further compromise was needed. Lidington, who is leading the government’s talks with Labour which are set to continue next week, announced the sides would take stock in ten days and the process could not drag out. He said topics to be discussed would likely include environmental standards, workers’ rights and security relations with the EU. Lidington reiterated that the ruling Conservative Party could not let itself be defined solely by Brexit. A poll published in the “Observer” showed the Conservatives at 29%, down 6 points from March 28 and 7 points behind Labour. Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said the process was a recipe for disaster for his party. He called for Prime Minister Theresa May to make way for a new Conservative leader next month – but Lidington insisted replacing the prime minister would not change the arithmetic in Parliament.
bbc.com, theguardian.com, uk.reuters.com
Judge orders Ukip to reveal Brexit referendum data use: Ukip has been ordered to fully reveal details of how it used nearly £300,000 of political data services in the run-up to the Brexit vote and the 2015 general election after the party lost a two-year legal battle to block disclosure. An appeals tribunal found the political party, led at the time by Nigel Farage, failed to properly answer the information commissioner’s questions. It is now legally obliged to provide detailed answers to questions about how it spent political donations and used polling companies and data. Ukip leader Gerard Batten has accused his predecessor Farage of smearing the party, while defending his own links to Tommy Robinson.
Corbyn concerned that evidence was ignored: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn privately expressed concern that evidence of antisemitism within the party was mislaid or ignored, leaked recordings suggest. The “Sunday Times” has released part of a conversation the party leader had with Dame Margaret Hodge, which she taped. The Barking MP told the BBC she made the recording as an insurance policy. She secretly recorded the conversation between the pair in February, as Corbyn talked over a plan to recruit former cabinet minister Lord Falconer to review the party’s complaints process. A Labour spokesman said the tape showed Corbyn’s desire for robust and efficient procedures and to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.
European Research Group: Labour MP David Lammy says comparing ERG to Nazis not strong enough theguardian.com
“Sunday Times” newspaper: Salisbury, scene of Novichok poison drama, named Britain’s best place to live uk.reuters.com
⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
politjobs.uk: Association of Directors of Children’s Services seeks Policy Officer *** The Royal Society seeks Senior Policy Adviser (Education) *** ITV Cymru Wales seeks Public Affairs Manager *** Independent Age seeks Public Affairs Officer *** Dogs Trust seeks European Policy Advisor (Publish your job ad)
⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Corbyn under pressure to make referendum offer: Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure from within his shadow cabinet to give a commitment to a new Brexit referendum as part of Labour’s European election campaign offer. Corbyn’s team is currently engaged in talks with the Conservatives in an effort to find a Brexit compromise deal that can enjoy majority support in the House of Commons, with a referendum having been discussed during the negotiations. A string of senior shadow ministers are advocating a new public vote, alongside MPs from the left and right of the party, buoyed by a groundswell of support from the membership.
Merkel pulls out of European elections event: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has upset the new leader of her Christian Democratic party (CDU) party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, by cancelling a key event for the European elections, leading to speculation that the two leading figures in German politics have fallen out over the party’s new identity. Merkel informed Kramp-Karrenbauer at the eleventh hour that she will not travel to Munster to jointly open the CDU campaign for May’s European elections, newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” reported on Sunday. The last minute snub was an embarrassment to Kramp-Karrenbauer, who had already informed party colleagues that the Chancellor was to appear and ordered corresponding security measures to be taken.
Rescue ship “Alan Kurdi” on the Mediterranean: Rescue groups talk about a shameful episode welt.de
Alliance including Lega and AfD: European right-wing populists without joint programme for European elections zeit.de
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“If we are going to find an agreement there needs to be movement on both sides.”
British cabinet minister David Lidington has suggested the two sides in Brexit talks are considering whether there was a mechanism to deliver the benefits of a customs union while also enabling the UK to have an independent trade policy and input into EU agreements affecting the UK.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Daimler under fire again for emissions cheating: Daimler is accused of installing so-called defeat device software in thousands of its SUV vehicles in an investigation launched by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, German “Bild” newspaper reported Sunday. The investigation is focusing on another illegal defeat device installed in around 60,000 vehicles produced between 2012 and 2015 with the exhaust emission standard 5. “Bild” reported that regulators discovered the controversial software in late 2018. It said further emissions tests with a GLK model then confirmed their suspicion. A Daimler spokesperson said the company was fully cooperating with the authorities.
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“Yellow Vest” clashes in Toulouse: France’s “Yellow Vest” protesters took to the streets for a 22nd straight Saturday, leading to clashes with police in the southwestern city of Toulouse, while the capital Paris remained calm. Around 31,000 Yellow Vests turned out across France, including about 5,000 in Paris. Police used tear gas and water cannon in Toulouse to keep demonstrators out of the centre of the city, French television showed. Parts of Paris and some regional cities were declared off limits to protesters following an eruption of violence last month. Activist groups had said on social media networks that Toulouse would be the focus for the 22nd round of demonstrations, prompting city mayor Jean-Claude Moudenc to express concern ahead of the protests.
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
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⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
Poroshenko debates empty podium: Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko debated with an empty podium after his rival Volodymyr Zelensky – a TV star and comedian- failed to appear at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium. The two men had agreed to the televised debate last week, but failed to agree on the date it would take place. Zelensky had favoured this coming Friday, two days before they go head to head in the election run-off. Poroshenko, who is trailing his rival after winning just 16% of the first round vote, appeared to be hoping to capitalise on Zelensky’s failure to arrive at Kiev’s Olympiyskiy Stadium for the televised face-off and sang an altered version of a Ukrainian folk song about a no-show date.