Its not going so well at the European Council....

The European Council summit ended with an impasse this week as EU leaders failed to reach an agreement on the candidates for the next leaders of EU institutions, including the post of European Commission President, 

The meeting was suspended by Council President Donald Tusk, and will resume on Tuesday.

Following the meeting French President Emmanuel Macron said, “Our credibility is profoundly tainted with these meetings that last for too long and lead to nothing. We give an image of Europe which is not serious,” adding that “a simplification of our procedures” was needed.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said “about 10 to 11 countries” are opposed to the ‘package’ reportedly agreed between France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, last weekend, in which Socialist lead candidate Frans Timmermans would be put forward as the new Commission President. Conte added, “The problem … a pre-established ‘package’ decided somewhere else and Italy cannot accept this: the proposal must come from the European Council.”

Elsewhere, the new European Parliament will sit for the first time in Strasbourg.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, meanwhile, said that he has not selected an amendment which threatened to block government funding in the event of a No Deal Brexit. 

The amendment to the financial legislation, known as “estimates,” was tabled by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve and Labour MP Margaret Beckett. It would have denied funding to four government departments – the Department for International Development, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education, and the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government – in the event that a No Deal Brexit happened without explicit parliamentary approval. Grieve and Beckett have re-submitted their amendment.

Elsewhere, the Labour MP and Chair of the Brexit Select Committee, Hilary Benn, said that “Parliament is basically in a state of suspended animation at the moment awaiting the outcome of the Tory leadership contest… but there will come a moment when we face a very, very stark choice, if the Prime Minister decides, whoever that is, that they want to propose to Parliament that we leave with No Deal.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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