Bottom-Line Brexit Part IV

What business needs to know about how Brussels sees the process of Britain leaving the European Union, as related to BCW by senior EU sources.        

Next week, we’ll know … something

Whichever way the House of Commons leaps tonight in the latest of a series of complex votes, we believe next week can provide a moment of truth – on Brexit hard or soft, now, later or never. Prime Minister Theresa May could spook hard-core Brexiteers into backing, at the third time of asking, the deal she made with the EU in November, even though many of them see it as leaving the UK too closely tied to Brussels’ economic and trade regulations. If she does – and rather few in Brussels think she will – then Britain will shortly leave the EU in formal terms but enter a transition period that could last from two to four years during which little will change for business. It is highly improbable it will leave on schedule on March 29 but more likely either in mid-May, before the May 23-26 EU parliamentary election, or around June 30, before the new European Parliament convenes on July 2. Key timing decisions on extension will, however May fares next week, be taken by EU leaders at their quarterly summit in Brussels next Thursday and Friday.

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How large can NATO get?


Last month, Europe finally settled a 27-year family argument and celebrated a new name for an ancient country. The Republic of North Macedonia officially became the new name for the former Yugoslav republic after it resolved a long-running feud with Greece over what to call itself. The agreement should now pave the way for North Macedonia to play its role in the international community, starting with NATO. The government in Skopje has already launched its membership application and symbolically, the first country to ratify its NATO accession protocol was Greece. If others speed up their procedures, North Macedonia could join at the July NATO summit.

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Why Europe wants to change its competition policy

Margrete Vestager has earned plaudits in some circles as EU Competition Commissioner for boldly applying EU competition law to tech giants. But as she prepares to bow out at the end of her term this year, the Commissioner is expected to leave a legacy that will last beyond her time as competition enforcer. Indeed, she is laying the foundation for a sea change in the way the EU intervenes in digital markets.

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Bottom-Line Brexit


What business needs to know about how Brussels sees the process of Britain leaving the European Union, as related to BCW by senior diplomatic and EU institutional sources.

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Brexit or not, Britain must stay in the EU’s security team

Parliament’s historic vote on Tuesday against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans now leaves a huge question mark over how – or even if – Britain will leave the EU. But whatever happens, we have to prepare for it. This challenge puts a special responsibility on those of us in European defence sector: we risk seeing Britain split from its European allies in NATO, and a weakening of our combined defences. We have to do whatever we can to prevent Brexit from tearing us apart and leaving us vulnerable to the threats of the modern world.

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The 2019 European elections: Trouble ahead

We say it every time voters go to the polls, but this year’s European elections really will be different. By the time Europeans cast their ballots in May, it will cap a five-year period like no other in the six-decade history of the European project, and we can expect this disruption to be reflected in the next European Parliament. Exactly how much is a tough call. But it will be defined by the battle between the pro-EU mainstream and Eurosceptic populists.

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