Wednesday, 10 April 2019: EU to agree Brexit delay, Boeing-Airbus trade spat, China promises EU market opening, IMF cuts global growth outlook


EU to agree Brexit delay: EU leaders will grant British Prime Minister Theresa May a second delay to Brexit but they could demand she accepts a much longer extension as France pushed for conditions to limit Britain’s ability to undermine the bloc. An extension until the end of the year or until March 2020, under which Britain could leave much sooner if its warring political tribes can find a majority, was shaping up to be the most likely, EU diplomats said. Despite May’s dash to Paris and Berlin to convince leaders of her plan to break the Brexit impasse, European Council President Donald Tusk signalled EU politicians’ lack of faith in her cross-party talks. He said there was little reason to believe a Brexit deal would be approved by the extension deadline May has requested – 30 June. Writing to EU leaders, he said any delay should have conditions attached. It is up to EU members to vote on the proposals at a summit this Wednesday.,,

Facebook posts about Javid deepen Tory Islamophobia row: The Conservatives have been dragged into fresh controversy over Islamophobia after it emerged self-professed party members have been discussing how they could prevent Sajid Javid becoming prime minister. Tory supporters who claim to be members of the party have attacked the home secretary on social media for his Muslim background and pledged to back another candidate to prevent any potential leadership bid he might make. The posts prompted the chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum to call on the party to do more to promote inclusivity. Mohammed Amin, chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, branded the comments outrageous. He said people with bigoted views were in all political parties, but the Conservative party needed to ask itself what it was projecting that lead people like these bigots to believe that they had a home within the party.

Mordaunt says UK will defend abortion rights: Britain’s international development secretary has promised to stand firm in her support for abortion rights in the face of growing opposition. Speaking at an event hosted by the Canadian embassy on Monday, Penny Mordaunt said leadership meant not shying away from issues like safe abortion when the evidence showed that these services will save women’s lives. Negotiations at last month’s CSW (UN Commission on the Status of Women) in New York were marked by the Trump administration’s attempts to water down language in the agreement document, and its reluctance to reconfirm the US’s commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action, a landmark international agreement that, among other things, calls for universal access to decent healthcare services for women and girls, and recognises the impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern.

Sex education: LGBT classes decision for school not parents, says Damian Hinds
Judiciary: Top judge attacks growing abuse of parliamentary privilege
Windrush scandal: MPs call for review of Windrush compensation scheme
Climate change: UK parliament pension fund takes first step towards fossil fuel divestment


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Boeing-Airbus trade spat: The EU has hit back at new US proposals to target European goods with tariffs, following a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling over subsidies for Airbus. Trade tensions between the EU and US flared after the US said it was considering $11 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on a range of goods in response to illegal subsidies the EU granted to the European aerospace firm Airbus. The WTO ruled last year that these allowances had caused adverse effects to the US, with the decision coming after a long-running litigation battle between the Washington and Brussels over their respective aviation giants. A list of goods targeted for the levies from the US Office of Trade Representation (USTR) singles out aircraft and aerospace parts made in the UK, France, Germany and Spain – the key national partners in Airbus. The EU Commission said Tuesday that Brussels was ready to retaliate in kind. The EU is still waiting to hear from the WTO about what retaliation rights it has after the organisation found in 2012 that Boeing too had received billions of dollars in illegal subsidies that had been to the detriment of Airbus.,

China promises EU market opening: At a European Union-China summit on Tuesday in Brussels, the EU said a joint statement signalled important Chinese concessions over curbing subsidies to domestic industries and facilitating market access for foreign companies. European Council President Donald Tusk pointed to China’s agreement to discuss reform of the World Trade Organisation’s rules on industrial subsidies, which he termed a breakthrough. The summit was meant to address the growing rift between the EU and China. On China’s treatment of foreign investors, the EU has been frustrated by the slow pace of talks with Beijing since 2013 on a bilateral investment accord that would scale back Chinese market barriers for European companies. An investment agreement is an EU condition for starting negotiations with China on a free-trade accord. Both sides said on Tuesday said that a far-reaching investment deal could be reached in 2020.,,

Alliance of right-wing populist parties: European right-wing populists will change their group’s name
European Court of Human Rights: Russia’s house arrest violated Navalny’s rights


If you approach a problem in this way, then failure is preprogrammed.
Günter Verheugen, a former vice-president of the European Commission, has criticised the EU’s negotiation strategy during Brexit talks.


IMF cuts global growth outlook: The International Monetary Fund has cut its outlook for global growth to the lowest since the financial crisis amid a bleaker outlook in most major advanced economies and signs that higher tariffs are weighing on trade. The IMF said the global economy will likely grow 3.3% this year, the slowest expansion since 2016. More than two-thirds of the expected slowdown owes to trouble in rich nations. The fund said some major economies, including China and Germany, might need to take short-term actions to prop up growth and that a severe downturn could require coordinated stimulus measures. The UK economy is predicted to grow by 1.2% in 2019, down 0.3% from the IMF forecast in January. The forecasts for the UK are based on the expectation of an orderly Brexit – with a deal – from the EU later this year. A no-deal Brexit would be more costly.,,

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German wind turbine maker files for insolvency: A German court on Tuesday approved an application for insolvency from wind turbine manufacturer Senvion, although the company said it was also continuing to look at new funding options. The Hamburg-based company, which has more than a billion euros of debt, said it had applied for preliminary self-administration proceedings because refinancing discussions with lenders had not yet been successful. Senvion has faced delays and penalties related to big projects, while the wind industry as a whole has seen falling prices and increased competition as it moves away from governments guaranteeing generous fixed subsidised tariffs for power toward an auction-based system that favours the lowest bidders.

Italy: Benito Mussolini’s great-grandson enters politics with far-right party
Spain: Socialists in the lead ahead of 28 April election

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No artwork in Merkel’s office: The German-Danish artist Emil Nolde, whose work was once labelled “degenerate” by the Nazis in the 1930s, was himself a staunch National Socialist. Which is assumed to be why German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to ban two paintings by Nolde from her office, returning the loaned works to the Berlin State Museums’ collection. The move comes as two exhibitions grappling with Nolde’s conflicted history are set to open in Germany.


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