Thursday January 17, 2019
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Merkel calls for European solution to refugee crisis


Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of a European solution to the refugee issue on Tuesday.

“When we think too small, when we only think about ourselves, then this will be a major threat to Europe,” she said on the day to mark German industry.

She called on the approximately 1,200 representatives in politics and business in Germany to promote a common response overseas to the challenges of the refugee movement.

“Those who today think in Europe that they were not affected, will be affected in some way tomorrow, even if the unity of Europe would be put into question,” Merkel added.

The Chancellor again pleaded for a more equitable distribution of refugees in Europe. It was necessary to a European approach, she said.

“We must insist that the burden within the European Union (EU) will be distributed fairly, otherwise the system will not work,” said Merkel.

Merkel also stressed that the abolition of internal borders in Europe and the relocation of border guards at the EU’s external borders would only be achievable with the help of Europe’s neighbors.

She insisted that an agreement between the EU and Turkey would be quickly closed.


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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.

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)