What the other EU member states are thinking about the Brexit negotiations

This autumn, as politicians across Europe return from their summer breaks they will start to refine their own positions and priorities for negotiations with the UK. If we are to avoid the economic fallout of an acrimonious divorce then it is important to look at what is on the minds of those in other EU countries. In the words of Robbie Burns: "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us!"

After triggering Article 50, the agreement on the terms of our exit from the EU will require only a majority from the other EU countries. However a new trade deal between the UK and the EU needs the unanimous consent of all 27 EU countries. Any one country could veto it. We cannot assume that just because a deal has the support of, say, Germany, France and Poland that it will be acceptable to all. Many countries have their own historic alliances, and the suggestion that we might try to pick off countries one by one and offer a series of bilateral agreements went down very badly. Our own negotiating strategy needs to be detailed and very well prepared.

My MEP colleagues often remind me that the top priorities of their own national leaders are not the negotiations with the UK. Security and counter-terrorism have become the leading issues for some. For others it is the ongoing situation with migrants arriving from outside the EU. Many EU leaders have their own domestic economic problems and political concerns, including upcoming elections, which will colour their attitude to negotiations with the UK.

Read more at Conservative Home:


13 JUL 2016

EU firearms law amended to close loopholes on ‘acoustic’ firearms

An update to the EU's firearms directive – that would have banned many firearms used by hunters and sportsmen – has been reformed by a series of amendments voted by the European Parliament's internal market committee today.

The directive, steered through the parliament by Vicky Ford MEP, will instead focus on closing loopholes on so-called 'acoustic' firearms (typically guns converted to fire blanks for ceremonial purposes). Some of these have been used in recent terror attacks, including at Charlie Hebdo.

Read more at New Europe.

13 JUL 2016

East of England's MEP backs Theresa May

East of England's MEP has voiced her support for Theresa May, who is set to be the country's next prime minister.

MEP Vicky Ford said the home secretary has the experience and credibility to lead the country at this "critical juncture".

She said she supported Mrs May because of her reputation as a "calm and wise leader" in "difficult times" and because she is willing to "go the extra mile" to help Conservative candidates.

Mrs Ford worked with May's team to introduce cross-border criminal record checks which she says are now delivering real results in crime prevention in the East of England.

Read more at the Watford Observer.

11 JUL 2016

Top politicians, businesses and academics plot their vision for Cambridge post Brexit

A flagship partnership between politicians, business and academia has set its stall out to ensure Cambridge continues to prosper in the wake of the EU referendum.

A Cambridge Mandate and a Cambridge Declaration have been drawn up by the city's leading lights, which outlines how Cambridge will deal with Brexit and make its influence felt.

"Recognising that Cambridge and its surrounding area is a unique economic asset for Europe, we wanted to continue to maximise the benefit of that and find the best possible solution," said former South Cambs MP Lord Lansley.

Read more at Cambridge News.


01 JUL 2016

Cambridge scientists can keep bidding for EU funding, says MEP Vicky Ford

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford says scientists in the Cambridge area can still bid for funding from the EU to support their projects, despite Brexit.

Having spoken with EU Research Commissioner, Carlos Moedas, Mrs Ford said British scientists should continue to be treated equally with those from the rest of Europe.

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons on Monday that all existing Horizon 2020 contracts will be honoured, however he also pointed out that it is not clear how these will be treated post leaving, or how science and research will be prioritised in negotiations by a future Prime Minister.

Read more at Cambridge News.

16 JUN 2016

The EU Referendum is on the agenda at G's Fresh during visit from MP Elizabeth Truss and MEP Vicky Ford

Secretary of State Ms Truss was joined by member of the European Parliament, Vicky Ford at G's Barway site on Wednesday June 15, and the pair were quizzed by over 120 staff and suppliers on their views on the referendum, which is to take place on Thursday June 23.

Questions at the event ranged from trade deals to 'what will be the future for G's if Brexit happens?'

Chairman of G's, John Shropshire, said: "I am delighted that staff had the opportunity to speak to the Secretary of State Elizabeth Truss and MEP Vicky Ford."

Read more at the Ely Standard.

11 JUN 2016

Cambridge scientists don't want Britain to quit EU, say Remain campaigners

The majority of scientists working in the Cambridge region are against quitting Europe, Remain campaigners claim.

And many may vote with their feet and leave to work abroad if Britain votes to pull out on June 23.

The warning was spelled out by Cambridgeshire-based MEP Vicky Ford, as she supported a visit to the city by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The pair met other Remain campaigners after a tour of Toshiba Research in Cambridge.

Read more at Cambridge News.

10 JUN 2016

Council agrees to strengthen rules on firearms

The Council has agreed its negotiating position on the proposal for a directive on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons, which reviews and completes existing directive.

On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as the latter has adopted its position.

Ard van Der Steur, Minister for Security and Justice of the Netherlands and President of the Council said: "After the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers asked for a swift adoption of the directive. With this new directive the Netherlands Presidency has achieved a just and fair balance between an internal market for allowed firearms on the one hand and enhancing the security of EU citizens on the other."

Read more at EU Today.

01 JUN 2016

Euro MP meets with Harpenden business leaders

Leading Conservative MEP Vicky Ford toured Rothamsted, the world's oldest agricultural research centre, during a recent visit to the town.

With more than 200 scientists working at the cutting edge of crop science and biotechnology, Rothamsted has benefited from EU grants and has led many international research projects which help to ensure its status as a global centre for science.

Vicky Ford was the UK lead negotiator on Europe's £70 billion fund for research, known as the Horizon 2020 program. During the five year negotiations she worked with Rothamsted and other expert organisations across Britain to prioritise areas like plant science, medical research and next generation transport: all areas where the UK excels.

Read more at the Herts Advertiser.

27 MAY 2016

Conservative MEPs re-open e-cigarette regulation debate

Conservative MEPs are taking steps to re-open the debate on "restrictive" new EU rules covering the sale of e-cigarettes.

Gibraltar MEP Julie Girling and Vicky Ford have written to EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas asking him to examine the latest evidence on the health effects of vaping and whether it can help long term smokers give up traditional cigarettes.

Read more at the Gibraltar Chronicle.

24 MAY 2016

Vicky Ford MEP visits West Norfolk to discuss Britain's membership of the EU

Vicky Ford, a Conservative MEP for the East of England, visited West Norfolk on Friday to campaign for a remain vote in the upcoming referendum.

Ms Ford went to Dow Chemical, in Cross Bank Road, Lynn, to discuss the case for staying in the EU.

Read more at Lynn News

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