Tag Archives: deal&#39

Ready or not? Britain's 'no deal' planning

Ready or not? Britain's 'no deal' planningWith the UK parliament rejecting Britain’s EU divorce deal for a third time Friday, the country is faced with the prospect of breaking ties with its closest trading partner without a deal on April 12 — unless EU leaders agree on an alternative. Here are the main ways Britain would be affected in case of a “no-deal” ending to the 46-year partnership.



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UK lawmakers to vote on two proposed changes to government's 'no deal' Brexit motion

UK lawmakers to vote on two proposed changes to government's 'no deal' Brexit motionBritish lawmakers will have the opportunity to vote on two proposed changes to Prime Minister Theresa May’s next steps on Brexit on Wednesday, Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said. Lawmakers will vote on a government motion later which states that parliament rejects leaving the European Union without a deal on March 29, but notes that leaving without a deal remains the legal default unless a deal is agreed. Bercow said he had selected an amendment put forward by Conservative lawmaker Caroline Spelman, and supported by lawmakers from several parties, which seeks to rule out a no-deal exit under any scenario.



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Conservatives target Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' in New York billboards

Conservatives target Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' in New York billboardsThe digital billboards on the side of a skyscraper in Manhattan’s Times Square are the latest broadside against the 29-year-old liberal known as “AOC,” by the Job Creators Network, founded by billionaire Bernard Marcus, a former chief executive of Home Depot Inc. Representative Ocasio-Cortez, whose district includes parts of the New York City boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, has sought to push her party to the left on environmental and economic issues. Ocasio-Cortez had opposed Amazon.com Inc’s plan to create a major New York outpost with nearly $ 3 billion in city and state incentives. When the company last month scrapped plans to build in New York, she called it a big victory for progressive politicians.



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Pelosi throws shade on Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' framework

Pelosi throws shade on Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal' frameworkThe House speaker has a word of caution for the freshman superstar.



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Foreign troops 'to quit Afghanistan in 18 months under draft deal,' Taliban officials say

Foreign troops 'to quit Afghanistan in 18 months under draft deal,' Taliban officials sayTaliban officials said U.S. negotiators on Saturday agreed a draft peace deal stipulating the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within 18 months of the agreement being signed. The details were given to Reuters by Taliban sources at the end of six days of talks with U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar aimed at ending the United States' longest war. While neither side released an official statement, Khalilzad tweeted later that the talks had made "significant progress" and would resume shortly, adding that he planned to travel to Afghanistan to meet government officials. "Meetings here (in Qatar) were more productive than they have been in the past. We have made significant progress on vital issues," he wrote, adding that numerous issues still needed work. "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and everything must include an intra-Afghan dialogue and comprehensive ceasefire," he said in the tweets. A U.S. State Department spokesperson declined further comment. It was not clear if the draft described by the Taliban sources is acceptable to both sides or when it will be completed and signed. According to the sources, the hardline Islamic group gave assurances that Afghanistan will not be allowed to be used by al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants to attack the United States and its allies - a key early demand of Washington. They said the deal included a ceasefire provision but they had yet to confirm a timeline and would only open talks with Afghan representatives once a truce was implemented. Up until now, the Taliban has repeatedly rejected the Afghan government's offer of holding talks, preferring instead to talk directly to the U.S. side, which it regards as its main enemy. "In 18 months, if the foreign forces are withdrawn and ceasefire is implemented then other aspects of the peace process can be put into action," a Taliban source said, quoting from a portion of the draft. More talks on the draft are expected in February, again in the Qatari capital Doha, the Taliban sources said. They expect their side to be led by new political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the movement's co-founder and a former military commander who was released from prison in Pakistan last year. While they said his appointment had boosted momentum for a deal, it was unclear if he joined the talks. Taliban officials believe the U.S. was keen to get Baradar - who was captured in a joint Pakistani-U.S. intelligence raid in 2010 - to the table so they could be sure of speaking to the movement's most powerful figures. Other clauses in the draft include an agreement over the exchange and release of prisoners, the removal of an international travel ban on several Taliban leaders by Washington and the prospect of an interim Afghan government after the ceasefire is struck, the Taliban sources said. The suggestion to appoint an interim government in Afghanistan comes at a time when top politicians including Ghani have filed their nominations for the presidential polls in July this year. Ghani has repeatedly rejected the offer to agree to the formation of an interim government. News of progress on a deal comes as the Taliban continues to stage near-daily attacks against the Western-backed Afghan government and its security forces. Despite the presence of U.S.-led foreign forces training, advising and assisting their Afghan counterparts 17 years after the U.S.-led an invasion to drive them from power, the Taliban controls nearly half of Afghanistan. Ghani said last week that 45,000 members of the country's security forces had been killed since he took office in 2014. The United States has some 14,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led mission, known as Resolute Support, as well as a U.S. counter-terrorism mission directed at groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Despite reports in December last year that the United States was considering pulling out almost half of its forces, a White House spokesman said that U.S. President Donald Trump had not issued orders to withdraw the troops. However, the administration has not denied the reports, which have prompted fears of a fresh refugee crisis. The Taliban sources also confirmed provisions in the draft that have broader implications for Afghanistan's ties with its neighbours, particularly Pakistan, India and China. They said the deal included provisions that Baloch separatist militants will not be allowed to use Afghan soil to target Pakistan. Balochistan, a resource-rich yet often-neglected province in south west Pakistan, has been the source of separatist insurgencies for more than 60 years.



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EU implements Brexit 'no deal' contingency plans

EU implements Brexit 'no deal' contingency plansThe European Union on Wednesday adopted back-up plans to protect essential air transport and finance in the event that Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal in 100 days. The European Commission said it was acting “to ensure that the necessary contingency measures can enter into application on 30 March 2019 in order to limit the most significant damage caused by a ‘no-deal’ scenario”. The package covers 14 areas where a “no-deal” Brexit “would create major disruption for citizens and businesses” including in financial services, air transport, customs and climate policy.



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EU implements Brexit 'no deal' contingency plans

EU implements Brexit 'no deal' contingency plansThe European Union on Wednesday adopted backup plans to protect air transport and financial markets in the event Britain leaves without a Brexit deal in 100 days. EU officials insist the measures would not mean Britain can quit the union painlessly, but that it is important for “time-limited” measures to “mitigate” the harm. “The best, if you talk in terms of the economy and avoiding disruptions, is to stay within the EU,” European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters.



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