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Last efforts in Brussels to help the British get out of Europe?

  • April 17th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The European Union Heads of Government, week ending 12 April, had good reason to throw the British out so they could get on with important business concerning their joint future.

As Lee Duffield reports, they took over, telling the United Kingdom to finally make a plan for leaving the EU and ruling on a timetable for that — to 31 October. … Read More »

Notre Dame: “A deep wound … can be healed”

  • April 16th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The extensive destruction by fire of Notre Dame Cathedral marks a turning-point after close to a millennium of spiritual affirmation and cultural pride — beckoning revival and a new beginning.

As the Cathedral burned on Tuesday morning Australian time Lee Duffield wrote this reflection on some of the meanings of an event that will touch the life of millions. … Read More »

“Brexit” log-jam in London: new plans, same problem

  • March 29th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The British parliament has voted to extend the deadline for seceding from Europe from Friday until mid-April – but has failed to vote for a consensus on what to do.

Lee Duffield says he stopped making a straw-poll of Australian observers after getting a very early consistency of comments: “silly pommie parliament”, “incompetent mob”, and so on.

In this up-date he says there is surprise and exasperation in Europe also. … Read More »

EU-UK “Brexit”: one week of warfare, not there yet

  • March 16th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The British parliament has ended a week of big votes on leaving Europe with the battle lines more clear but still stuck in a stand-off.

Lee Duffield says the House of Commons has continued with a struggle to budge the Conservative Party Prime Minister Theresa May from the stand she has been taking.

He says it is a struggle also for journalists to make sense of the trouble, as he has worked through the details to get this explanation. … Read More »

EU-UK “Brexit”: Parliament says “No” a second time

  • March 12th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

The House of Commons has again on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected the Withdrawal Agreement for Britain to leave the European Union.

Lee Duffield writes that the vote came after a week of the usual confusion and bumble over so-called “Brexit”, which produced a revised agreement – in the end not revised-enough to satisfy hold-out MPs.

The vote was NO 391, YES 242.

… Read More »

Dealing in Billions: Tough trade talks with European negotiators who broke the Brits over “Brexit”

  • February 14th, 2019
  • Posted by EU Australia

Things have come to a push-and-shove stage in talks between Europe and Australia over trade – with the EU’s head man in agriculture taking a tough position in Australia this week.

Lee Duffield caught up with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development (equivalent to a federal minister), Phil Hogan (picture), and members of his negotiating team on the Gold Coast.

He says European Union officials who got the British in a tight corner over their secession from Europe – committing them to pay Brussels €39-billion (A$62.09) – aren’t backward putting their own interests forward. … Read More »

Christmas again

  • December 24th, 2018
  • Posted by EU Australia

Winding down at year’s end is bringing the traditional mix of devotional observances, silly season and anxiety about what’s likely to come next.

Lee Duffield writes. … Read More »

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