Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Here we go...
Brinkspersonship in Brussels
Theresa May is to make an emergency dash to Brussels on Saturday to complete the Brexit negotiations after the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, threatened to pull the plug on the Sunday leaders' summit.

As she emerged from talks in Brussels lasting nearly two hours with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, the British prime minister admitted that there were some major issues to resolve.

It's all going according to May's timetable...
The current UK political sequence would certainly have ended with May's head on a pike, had she presented Parliament with the detailed "end status" statement she needs the EU Council to agree to on Sunday. The plan is, she gets some sort of apparent trade concession, which is supposed to cover the shame of coming home with a perpetual rule-taking customs union... Good luck with that.

Next week will (also) be fun in Westminster!

Minutes of last week's fraught cabinet meeting obtained by the Daily Telegraph underlined the concerns of some ministers about the deal.

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said that it risked becoming a "Turkey trap" - a reference to the country's drawn-out negotiations to enter the bloc.

Well-spotted! And guess who the turkey is? (he's such a Jeremy)

Oh, and Gibraltar. Quite likely the Council, in order to preserve unity, will support the Spanish demand for a veto on trade arrangements applying to the Rock. Well-timed, Mr Sánchez.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 09:02:40 AM EST
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Gibraltar spat holds up Brexit
"No one wants to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. That would lead to the crumbling away of the whole Brexit agreement and lead us all into no-man's land," the diplomat said. "If they want solidarity they must be sensible," said another diplomat.

Madrid is demanding tighter wording in the text to make clear that negotiations on the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU will be conducted separately to those between the U.K. and EU -- and that they can only proceed with Madrid's approval. But two diplomats said that the Council's legal service made clear that there's no need to specify this.

However  "as of today, if there are no changes with respect to Gibraltar, Spain will vote no to the agreement on Brexit," Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Tuesday.

"It seems Sánchez has his eyes on the elections in Andalusia," said one of the diplomats, referring to the region which goes to the polls on December 2. It is the first major electoral test for the country's ruling Socialist party since Sánchez took power in June.
by Bernard on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 07:45:37 PM EST
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Speaking of Jeremy Hunt, remember his off the cuff comments likening the EU to the Soviet Union.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Soviet-born (Lithuanian) EU Commissioner for Health was not impressed. Still isn't.

by Bernard on Thu Nov 22nd, 2018 at 07:59:40 PM EST
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