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Britain’s Foreign Office apologizes to Italian Resident for ‘Racist’ form

Italy has been a unified country since March 17, 1861, the Italian embassy pointed out to the British government

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Representational Image, Flickr

Rome, Oct 13, 2016: Britain’s Foreign Office has said it was sorry for an online form that asks Italian resident in the UK if they are “Italian, Neapolitan or Sicilian” – 155 years after the unification of Italy.

Italian ambassador to Britain Pasquale Terracciano said he was satisfied with the government’s apology for the form which parents of schoolchildren in parts of England and Wales were asked to complete.

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“It was an error due rather to ignorance and carelessness on the part of a few education authorities rather than a real wish to discriminate,” Terracciano stated.

The British government has said it was asking for the form to be changed, he said.

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“It is important to avoid misunderstandings that can arise in this delicate post-Brexit period,” said Terracciano, referring to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June.

Italy has been a unified country since March 17, 1861, the Italian embassy pointed out to the British government. (IANS)

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British Parliament To Vote On Withdrawal Agreement Negotiated With The EU

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU.

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Britain, European Union, May
Anti-Brexit supporters hold European Union flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on Jan. 14, 2019. VOA

Britain’s parliament votes Tuesday on the withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government negotiated with the European Union.

May canceled a previous vote in December when it was clear she did not have enough votes for the deal to pass, and since then little seems to have changed.

Both pro- and anti-Brexit lawmakers oppose the terms of the agreement. May sought to garner last-minute support Monday by asking them to examine it again while warning of the consequences if the deal fails.

The biggest point of contention has been the arrangement to have an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland that would keep Britain in some way tied to EU trade policies until the two sides can negotiate a new trade deal.

In a Tuesday radio interview International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was not acceptable for the unelected House of Lords to try to block the democratic will of the British people, who voted by a 52-48 margin in June, 2016 to leave the EU.
The Independent newspaper Tuesday night reported that May was preparing for a Brexit meeting with select cabinet ministers Wednesday at which they will try to come up with a joint position on post-withdrawal customs relations following rejection of Britain’s existing proposals. wikimedia commons

EU leaders said Monday the so-called “backstop” arrangement would only be in place as long as necessary.

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union agreed to the terms of the Brexit deal in November after difficult talks, and if the British parliament votes against the agreement there is great uncertainty about what will happen next.

Also Read: Brexit Consequences Getting Tougher for Theresa May

May would have until next Monday to put forth a new proposal. There is also the chance Britain could reach its March 29 withdrawal deadline with no terms in place to specify just how it will relate to the European Union when it is no longer a member.

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU. Others want parliament to take control of the Brexit process from May and her Cabinet. (VOA)