Monday, 26 June 2017
A- A A+

euAt last there has been a step in the right direction. At a European Council meeting in Brussels last night, the British Prime Minister announced to her colleagues that the 3 million European nationals residing in the United Kingdom would not be obliged to leave the country once Brexit has been enacted.

It would be premature for those 3 million European nationals to think of cracking open a bottle of prosecco, spumante, champagne, or whatever, but they should at least now be thinking of putting one in the fridge. Mrs May was coolly reminded by her colleagues that the European Council was not the appropriate forum for Brexit negotiations and that Michel Barnier, the European Union’s steely chief negotiator, was the only person with authority to respond to the British government’s proposal.

4801The Queen’s role is to be impartial and, so tight is the cordon of discretion surrounding her, very little actually seeps out about her personal political views. There is just a tiny possibility, however, that at yesterday’s state opening of parliament the Queen was having some fun and sending us a signal.

With the calling of the snap general election there was no time this year to rehearse the state opening of parliament, the time-honoured piece of British pageantry that can either give us a reassuring sense of continuity or appear hilariously over the top, depending upon how you view the institution of monarchy.

isisDaesh has used, from the outset, modern weapons and techniques few people know about.

These are weapons resources that only the five largest powers have, three of them are in the EU.

4801Here we go again! Blimey, what a mess!

First of all there was the Brexit referendum. We were still reeling from that historic cock up when the next shock hit us with Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Trump is a teenage bully of quite staggering shallowness whose principal achievement since becoming President is to have caused offence to as many people as he can. 

portugalPortugal Day, or more properly ‘Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas,’ is a national holiday celebrated annually on June 10th.

Although officially observed only in Portugal, Portuguese citizens and emigrants throughout the world celebrate the day as it commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões in 1580.

popefrancisJust hours before joining hundreds of thousands of pilgrims celebrating the centenary of divine visions at Fátima last weekend, Pope Francis whole-heartedly welcomed scientists attending a Vatican conference designed to bring science and religion closer together.

The Vatican had invited leading astrophysicists and cosmologists to its astronomical observatory near Rome to discuss “black holes, gravitational waves and space-time singularities”.

eiffeltowerI’ve written earlier that the presidential elections in France would end up in a mess. I told friends that Le Pen would not win, but would get most of the votes of unhappy citizens. I was wrong. A new group almost won the elections, the NABO (Null, Abstention, Blank, Other), with 37% of electors. Macron got only 41.5%, far from the majority.

Worst results for the current so called “democracy” in France is the abstention among youngsters (30%) and young professionals up to 34y, (28%). We all know they are the ones who get onto the streets to fight for their democratic rights, those who arrange and guarantee strikes and who may, desperate, start violent protests.

brexitLenI. CORE PRINCIPLES

1. The European Council will continue to base itself on the principles set out in the statement of Heads of State or Government and of the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission on 29 June 2016. It reiterates its wish to have the United Kingdom as a close partner in the future. It further reiterates that any agreement with the United Kingdom will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and ensure a level playing field.

Preserving the integrity of the Single Market excludes participation based on a sector-by sector approach. A non-member of the Union, that does not live up to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member. In this context, the European Council welcomes the recognition by the British Government that the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible and that there can be no "cherry picking". The Union will preserve its autonomy as regards its decision-making as well as the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union.