Sep 272016
 

LONDON: Britain will oppose all EU plans for increased military cooperation that could interfere with NATO, despite being about to leave the union, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said Tuesday. “We are going to continue to oppose any idea of an EU army or an EU army headquarters which would simply undermine NATO,” Fallon said at a meeting with his 27 counterparts in Bratislava, where European Union leaders earlier this month agreed to step up joint military efforts. Asked if Britain could veto the plans while it still remains a member of the European Union ahead of Brexit, Fallon said: “There is no majority here for a EU army.” “There are a number of other countries who believe with us that cuts across the sovereignty of individual nation states,” he added. “We agree Europe needs to do more, it’s facing terrorism, it’s facing migration, but simply duplicating or undermining Nato is the wrong way to do it.” EU leaders met without Britain in the Slovakian capital on September 16 to discuss plans to move forward in the wake of the stunning British vote to leave the bloc on June 23. They agreed on a six-month roadmap to create a new “vision” for the EU, including beefed up defence cooperation, which Britain has always opposed. Fallon insisted however that Britain would continue to contribute to European defence as a member of NATO. “We are leaving the European Union but we remain committed to the security of Europe and putting more troops into Estonia [Read More…]

Sep 032016
 

Turkey is now willing to accept the liberalisation of travel visa rules with the European Union by the end of the year instead of October, as previously targeted, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag said on Sunday, citing senior Turkish government sources. Ankara had threatened to walk away from an EU migrant deal should it not get more relaxed travel rules in October, but Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik downplayed that prospect on Saturday after a meeting with EU officials. Turkey PM says 161 dead in coup bid, almost 3,000 detained Welt am Sonntag quoted senior Turkish officials familiar with the EU talks as saying that a delay until November or December was now seen as acceptable. However, Turkish officials were still insisting on securing visa liberalisation “no later than the end of the year,” the newspaper said. The newspaper also quoted EU sources as saying the two sides had narrowed their differences about implementation of Turkey’s anti-terror laws, which the EU has set as a condition for granting Turks visa-free movement, but gave no details. A night of chaos for Pakistani expats in Turkey The EU, which depends on Ankara to curb the flow of migrants into the bloc, is now seeking to ease tensions with Turkey after criticising President Tayyip Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown. Celik said on Saturday Ankara would stick to the migration accord but it was “not rational” to expect Ankara to relax its counter-terrorism laws now as it fights Islamic State in neighbouring Syria and [Read More…]

Aug 302016
 

BRUSSELS: The EU is expected to announce on Tuesday its decision on possible fines against American tech giant Apple, which is suspected of receiving preferential treatment from Ireland on taxes, sources said. For weeks reports have emerged saying that the European Commission, the bloc’s competition watchdog, was gearing up to hit Apple with a hefty penalty over tax agreements with the Irish government. A source close to the matter told AFP on condition of anonymity that a decision was expected on Tuesday, while another source also cited that date. Apple announces date for new offerings Under European Union rules, which deem state tax aid illegal, the firm could be ordered to pay back taxes to Ireland. A commission spokeswoman and Apple both declined to comment on news that a decision was forthcoming. Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a Washington Post interview published August 13, said he hoped to “get a fair hearing” on the matter. “If we don’t, then we would obviously appeal it,” he added. The US stepped up its fight last Wednesday against the commission’s crackdown on tax avoidance by Apple and other multinational companies, accusing it of unilateralism and overstepping its mandate. In a white paper, the US Treasury said the commission probe into alleged special tax treatment that certain EU countries gave Apple, Amazon, Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler “undermines the international tax system.” Update your iPhone now to avoid a major security flaw A US Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment on a possible ruling Tuesday from the [Read More…]

Jul 042016
 

BRUSSELS: Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday he was sure Britain’s new government would remain committed to the alliance despite the Brexit vote and the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Britain’s ruling Conservative party is seeking a new leader to lead negotiations on an exit from the European Union (EU), which has sparked fears for the Western security establishment of which both the EU and Nato are key parts. “Brexit will change the relationship between the UK and the EU but it will not change the UK’s position inside Nato,” Stoltenberg told a press briefing ahead of an alliance summit in Warsaw this week. “David Cameron and the UK government have clearly stated that they will continue as a committed ally. I am certain that a new government in the UK will continue that line,” he added. Queen, in Scotland after Brexit vote, says staying calm can be hard “This is important because the UK is a major provider of security in Europe and provider of security for the Nato alliance.” Britain as a nuclear power with a permanent, veto-wielding seat on the UN Security Council has a major say in Nato and in EU foreign and defence policy and there has been intense speculation Brexit could undercut Britain’s standing. Stoltenberg stressed several times that the Brexit vote did not change Britain’s relationship with Nato, only with the EU. At the same time, it would have “no effect in any way on Nato-EU cooperation … if anything, it just [Read More…]

Jul 032016
 

On June 23, voters in Britain, by voting 52 per cent to 48 per cent to exit the European Union, shocked the world — in particular, the global financial markets. The immediate effects of this momentous decision were far and wide. That the pound, the British currency, would take a beating and the London stock price would plunge was anticipated in case Britain voted to leave. What was not fully appreciated was that the consequence of this move would not just ripple across the world but generate a huge tidal wave. On June 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States plummeted more than 600 points in one of the most harrowing days of trading in several years. The decline was even more dramatic in Europe and Asia, where major stock market values sank seven per cent or more. The combined world stock values shed $2.5 trillion in value. This loss was equivalent to India’s 2015 national income of $2.1 trillion. There was further loss when the markets opened on Monday, June 27.  While most of the indices picked up on Tuesday, it was clear that extreme volatility would persist until the political world on both sides of the English Channel decided how to handle the relationship of Britain with the European Union. There was a virtual consensus among experts from the fields of economics and as well as political science about the main causes of Brexit, the move to take Britain out of the European Union. London [Read More…]

Jun 282016
 

BRUSSELS: Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday he was sorry that he had lost Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union but would work with his successor to make sure the country has the closest ties possible with the bloc. David Cameron says Brexit vote must be accepted, timing up to Britain “I wish I had won the referendum … I am sad about that,” he told reporters. “But I am more concerned about Britain getting its relationship right with Europe,” he said, adding he would do everything in his power to “encourage a close relationship”. The post David Cameron says sorry about referendum result, to strive for strong EU ties appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jun 272016
 

BRUSSELS: Spurned EU leaders will press Britain to waste no time triggering its divorce from the bloc at a tense summit on Tuesday, while trying to plot a future course through a crisis that has rocked global markets. Germany, France and Italy agreed on the eve of the summit in Brussels that there could be no talks on Britain’s relations with the group until after it has formally notified the European Union of its intention to leave by invoking Article 50. Pound tumbles, most markets extend losses on Brexit woe But Prime Minister David Cameron — who announced his plan to resign in the wake of the shock referendum vote — has insisted Britain will not pull the trigger until his successor is in place in September. With England’s disgraced football team returning from France after being dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, Cameron heads to Brussels for an awkward encounter with his 27 counterparts. A British government source said ahead of the meeting that Cameron will reiterate his position that beginning Britain’s extraction from the EU is a job for his successor. “He will want to encourage people to think about how both the UK and the EU needs to work now to make the best of the decision that the British people have taken,” the source added. ‘Brexit’ could mean disintegration of EU or UK, says economist Cameron will first sit down with EU President Donald Tusk, before the European Council meets later in the day. Later, the [Read More…]

Jun 252016
 

LONDON: Britain’s vote to leave the EU could open a period of turbulence for the country’s airline industry, which has soared under the EU’s Single European Sky system over the last two decades. Among the mass of agreements that Britain will have to renegotiate with Brussels are those governing flights between Britain and the rest of the EU. “They are not long, the days of wine and roses,” whether for airlines, airports or British air travellers, said Peter Morris, chief economist at Ascend Flightglobal Consultancy. Post-Brexit: What it means for the Pakistani economy The single sky system lifted trade restrictions on airlines controlled by EU member states or their nationals, and whose headquarters are located within the EU. Unless British negotiators manage to secure preferential conditions, British airlines will lose this status. This will mean they no longer enjoy rights including being able to freely set airfares, and to launch any route in Europe without getting authorisation in advance. In concrete terms, passengers leaving or arriving in the United Kingdom will face new taxes, while British airlines will be slower to develop new routes. On the frontline are Britain’s two main actors, EasyJet and the International Airlines Group (IAG): their shares plummeted Friday on news of the shock Brexit vote, losing 14.35 percent and 22.54 respectively on the London market. Low-cost airline Ryanair, which campaigned vocally for Britain to remain in the EU, is a little less exposed because it is based in Ireland, even if it has a large presence [Read More…]

Jun 242016
 

LONDON: A British vote to leave the European Union sent sterling plunging on Friday and hammered equities across the world as turmoil swept through global markets. Such a body blow to global confidence could well prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates as planned this year, and might even provoke a new round of emergency policy easing from all the major central banks. KSE-100 index falls 2% in early trade on Brexit volatility Risk assets were scorched as investors fled to the traditional safe-harbours of top-rated government debt, Japanese yen and gold. Billions were wiped from share values as FTSE futures fell 7 per cent FFIc1, EMINI S&P 500 futures ESc1 5 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei .N225 7.6 per cent. European stock markets were set to open more than 10 per cent lower STXEc1. The British pound collapsed no less than 18 US cents, easily the biggest fall in living memory, to hit its lowest since 1985. The euro in turn slid 3.2 per cent to $1.1012 EUR= as investors feared for its very future. Nearly complete results showed a 51.8/48.2 per cent split for leaving, setting the UK on an uncertain path and dealing the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two. Sterling sank a staggering 10.1 per cent at one point and was slumped at $1.3582 GBP=, having carved out a range of $1.3228 to $1.5022. The fall was even larger than during the global financial crisis and the currency was [Read More…]

Jun 242016
 

LONDON: Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday’s referendum showed, a stunning repudiation of the nation’s elites that deals the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two. Global financial markets plunged as complete results showed a near 52-48 per cent split for leaving, on fears that the decision will hit investment in the world’s 5th largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and foment uncertainty in the world’s biggest trading bloc. Britain votes to leave EU in historic divorce The pound suffered its biggest one-day fall in history, falling more than 10 per cent against the dollar to hit levels last seen in 1985, while the euro slumped more than 3 per cent. “It’s a momentous day. It’s an extraordinary event and the it will change the course of British history,” said British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond who had campaigned for a “Remain” vote. The leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, hailed it as “independence day”. Quitting the EU could cost Britain access to the EU’s trade barrier-free single market and mean it must seek new trade accords with countries around the world. President Barack Obama says it would be at the “back of a queue” for a US pact. The EU for its part will be economically and politically weakened, facing the departure not only of its most free-market proponent but also a member with a UN Security Council veto and powerful army. In [Read More…]

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