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The last British commissioner

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For candidate European commissioners, a few guiding principles can help them survive confirmation hearings at the European Parliament: know something about your policy area, don t have a dodgy past, and say lots of nice things about MEPs. But Sir Julian King, Britain s candidate to join the commission, had no precedents to draw on for his hearing with parliament s civil liberties committee on Monday evening. His aim: to become the first EU commissioner from a country planning to leave the EU.

The Last British Commissioner

If you d told me a few months ago that I d be sitting here I d probably not have believed you, he told the hearing in Strasbourg. It is a particular situation. He came through it well.

On policy issues, he confidently tackled a barrage of technical questions on his new brief as security commissioner with queries on everything from counter-terrorism to data encryption. Sir Julian also benefited from the fact that his new responsibilities are in area where many in the parliament believe that the European Commission needs to be more active, meaning they welcome the impetus that could come from the creation of a security commissioner post. That thirst for more policymaking may help explain why, in the end, Sir Julian did not face many direct questions about the large elephant in the room.

Those that did come did so mainly from pro-Brexit MEPs from Britain itself. UKIP s Gerard Batten asked: which master you will cleave to? London, or Brussels. He got a clear answer: I don t think that you should read anything into my nomination to do with the wider issues of Brexit, Sir Julian said. I m not here as a representative of the British government.

He now looks a shoo in to be formally confirmed later this week as Britain s new, and very possibly last, EU commissioner. But that Brexit elephant will still be hanging around.

Email: Twitter: @jimbrunsden

Hungary row Luxembourg s foreign minister demanded that Hungary beexcluded from the EU3 for its mistreatment of refugees. Jean Asselborn argues that exclusion is the the only way to preserve the cohesion and values of the European Union . Other countries (cough) Poland should watch out, said Asselborn, who also argued that it should be possible to suspend someone from the EU without unanimity.

Warsaw Discount Holidays © holiday tour Poland s Law and Justice party s parliamentary leader underlined how little Warsaw cares about international scrutiny. The visit of the Venice Commission in Warsaw is very much a Discount Holidays © holiday tour, said Ryszard Terlecki, referring to a visit of the human rights watchdog4. We do not attach particular importance to it. All that we had to tell the Commission, we already have.

The Rachman plan The FT s Gideon Rachman comes up with a two-tier solution5 for the EU s woes: a tight federalist bloc with Germany and (probably) France at its centre and a periphery of those who are sceptical of further political integration, including the Visegrad group, the Irish, the Dutch, the Swedes and the Danes. The euro awkwardly bestrides both. But an EU with a defined tertiary bloc would rather appeal to the Brits, giving the UK the option of staying.

Voila! Full piece6.

The Last British Commissioner

Not an EU army The push for tighter defence strategy in the EU continues: France and Germany have put out another paper7 spelling out how it should work. Some historically neutral countries such as Ireland and Austria are nervy, while others are concerned about diminishing Nato s role, which was not just a British concern.

TTIP is alive Or so says Washington s chief negotiator8.

The clear message we are getting from EU member states is that, notwithstanding these recent comments there is a clear desire to keep moving forward, he said. And the closer you are to negotiations the more confident you are that in fact negotiations are moving forward.

Facebook legal woes Facebook faces another day at the European Court of Justice, after the court was asked to rule9 whether a class action against the social network in Austria was valid10. The case is being run by Max Schrems, an Austrian student who has almost single handedly made life very difficult for the $360bn company over the past five years.

Brits do quit Mere months after declaring Brits don t quit , David Cameron has resigned for a second time this time as an MP. It marks aninauspicious end11 for the former prime minister, who pledged to continue as a backbench MP. The reaction has been unkind. This Daily Telegraph piece12 David Cameron s petulant resignation as an MP shows why he leaves no lasting legacy and that he doesn t care – was typical.

Secret talks Brexit minister David Davis warned his fellow MPs13 that they should not expect to be 100 per cent in the loop during negotiations.

Clearly there is a need for parliament to be informed without giving away our negotiating position.

I may not be able to tell you everything, even in private hearings.

The comments came during a hearing in which there was some levity, according to MLex s Matthew Holehouse14:

David Davis met Irish ministers for talks in Dublin, and told them of Irish heritage.

They assumed I was applying for a passport.

Email: Twitter: @duncanrobinson16

References

  1. ^ FT.com – Alerts Hub (nbe.ft.com)
  2. ^

You might need a £50 visa for holidays in Europe after Brexit – Liverpool Echo

Holidaymakers may have to fork out 50 to go away in Europe after Brexit.

European Union1 countries could force Brits to apply for visas if the government clamps down on immigration to the UK, a minister has admitted. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Britain was engaged in a two-way negotiation with the EU – and could not guarantee visa-free travel abroad would be protected. People from many non-EU countries currently have to apply in advance for a 50 visa for a short trip to the continent.

Read More

There are now fears that similar rules could hit British tourists when the UK leaves the EU. Liverpool-born Andy Burnham2, Labour shadow home secretary, said the move would make it harder for cash-strapped families to go on Discount Holidays © holiday abroad.

You Might Need A £50 Visa For Holidays In Europe After Brexit - Liverpool Echo Border Force check the passports of passengers arriving at Gatwick Airport.

He said: This is yet another example of the drift and confusion as a result of the Government s failure to plan for Brexit. Ministers should not just accept there s a cost of 50 for the average family to go on holiday.

The Home Secretary s words will not have reassured ordinary families about the cost of Brexit. She seems to be sympathetic to an idea that will put a flat 50 tax on the average family Discount Holidays © holiday in Europe.

Tory ministers might think nothing of that, but it would make it even harder for ordinary families to afford a holiday.

Norway doesn t have the charge, so why should we? I challenge the Home Secretary to rule it out.

Post-Brexit fall-out

But Ms Rudd told the BBC: I think they (British citizens) would be surprised.

I don t think it s particularly desirable but we don t rule it out because we have to be allowed a free hand to give the best negotiation.

Once we leave the European Union we will have complete control over who comes into the UK from the EU and who doesn t, with one or two provisos of course.

First of all, it s going to be reciprocal, we are going to have to work out what s in the UK s interests as well going to the European Union and what works for our economy and making sure that we get the right balance.

Looking across the whole spectrum is what s going to be the guiding principle.

Whether we look at a work permit system or another system is something that my department is looking at closely at the moment,

References

  1. ^ European Union (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)
  2. ^ Andy Burnham (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)

Coventry families wanted for new holiday TV show

Coventry families are being urged to apply for an exciting new television show. Producers at 7Wonder, a television production company, are after city residents for a brand-new show, How To Discount Holidays © Holiday Better. The series – which will focus on families across the UK, including Coventry, who are set to go on Discount Holidays © holiday in October and November – will shed light on how to save money on Discount Holidays © holiday plans.

The show aims to make parents’ pennies stretch further, with tips on how to budget during a sunny break and plenty more besides. Producers say: “Do you feel there is too much choice, and too much conflicting information, making booking a Discount Holidays © holiday a chore rather than a pleasure?

“Do you and your family want to go on Discount Holidays © holiday but are on a budget, or do you always spend more money than intended?

“Do you believe you have to spend more to get the best hotels, activities and flights?

“We’ll improve every aspect of your Discount Holidays © holiday experience – from the moment you book, to the moment you board the plane home.”

To apply, Coventry residents should get in touch with the production company by e-mail, via the address

Watch: Stress free airport tips

Coventry Families Wanted For New <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday TV Show 2 Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video

Elsewhere, Take Me Out, the popular dating show on ITV, is back for a new series, presented once again by comedian Paddy McGuinness. And, if you fancy a trip to the Isle of Fernando’s, producers are calling for you to apply.

To apply, boys should get in touch with the producers via the e-mail

Females, meanwhile, can e-mail 5 Coventry Families Wanted For New <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday TV Show Coventry Families Wanted For New <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday TV Show 6 Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video

References

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