EU

Duncan Robinson

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“The customs union means free movement of our goods. It doesn’t mean free movement of our trucks.” The FT visited the Turkish border with Bulgaria to find out what Britain’s lorry drivers can expect after Brexit. In short? Queues. Read more

By Richard Milne

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Duncan Robinson

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Britain’s Article 50 notification could be less than a month away. Theresa May has outfoxed her opponents in the first parliamentary skirmishes. Unexpected delays are always possible in the Lords. But it looks like Downing Street may meet its March 9 target for notifying Brexit, just in time for the European Council summit that day.

Britain’s prime minister will have the chance to explain herself in person (rather than just break up by fax/letter/email or text message). And the EU-27 will take their cue. Diplomats are already preparing a special EU-27 summit in early April to set “guidelines” for Brexit talks. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Something is stirring in Luxembourg. In the space of a few months, the European Court of Justice could turn the EU’s refugee policy on its head, fundamentally reshape the way Muslims are treated in Europe and set the parameters for any post-Brexit trade deal. Through this handful of cases, the court will demonstrate its extraordinary and growing influence. Read more

Jim Brunsden

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This morning, for the second week running, satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné is hitting breakfast tables around France with revelations regarding Mr Fillon’s family finances. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Offering the Brits (and the Brits alone) a loophole made things worse. While Mr Trump may be a novelty, it is easy to forget that testy relations between Washington and Brussels pre-Trump are nothing new. Read more

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Now for the main event. Donald Trump finally takes office today after a noisy transition that served only to amplify many of the most unsettling questions that surround his incoming administration. Read more

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In Clermont-Ferrand on Tuesday, a reporter asked Manuel Valls how he felt about former economy minister Emmanuel Macron filling a 2,000-seat venue in the same town three days earlier (500 other fans were refused entry because it was just too packed). Predictably, Mr Valls, who not so long ago was Mr Macron’s boss, did not take it well. Read more

Jim Brunsden

 

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Jim Brunsden

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Such were the first comments of Paolo Gentiloni, after being asked on Sunday by Italy’s president to become the country’s new prime minister. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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By Arthur Beesley Read more

By Arthur Beesley

It’s not a precedent any president would want to set. François Hollande is the first French head of state since the second world war not to stand for re-election. Laid low by dreadful popularity ratings, the socialist Hollande had little chance of prevailing next year against centre-right candidate François Fillon or Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front. Read more

Duncan Robinson

A visibly upset Martin Schulz called time on his career in the European Parliament, triggering a scramble to replace him in Brussels and political ructions in Berlin. Here are some of the questions his departure raise.

The European Parliament was stale during Martin Schulz’s tenure at the assembly’s president, which began in 2012. While fringe parties created a fuss at the edge, at the core was an alliance between his centre-left S&D and the centre right EPP, in which they broadly agreed to chomp through whatever legislation they were served. Having being kept on a leash for years, some MEPs may want to run free. But they need to be careful. After elections in 2014, eurosceptic parties make up about a third of the chamber. If the EU is to function, then some form of deal needs to be cut between the more moderate groups. Horse trading over who takes the presidency will play a big role. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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By Arthur Beesley Read more

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First, Emmanuel Macron, the young economic adviser the French president promoted as economy minister in 2014, is to confirm his presidential bid, whether or not his mentor decides to seek re-election next year. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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By Stefan Wagstyl Read more

Duncan Robinson

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The gold gilded door, the grins, the open neck shirt. This was a chilling sight for the EU establishment. Donald Trump, the US president-elect, had made his first big overture to a politician on the continent. . . and his name was Nigel Farage. Read more

Jim Brunsden

“Their world collapses. Ours is built.” So said Florian Philippot, the main adviser to Marine Le Pen, hailing Donald Trump’s victory as the start of a new order in world politics. Elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany will give this theory a thorough real-world test in 2017.

 

France

In France, Ms Le Pen of the National Front leads the way in first-round voting, but lags comfortably behind potential rivals in polls on a presidential run-off. Now, after duff calls in both Britain and the US pollsters are viewed with scepticism.

“Before the American result, the question seemed absurd,” says the Economist. “Now, the unthinkable has become conceivable.” The FT’s Anne-Sylvaine Chassany quotes Dominique de Villepin, a former French prime minister: “France and the US are like twins. What is possible in the US is possible in France, even if the system is refusing to see it.” Read more

Duncan Robinson

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The rhetoric could hardly be nastier. With an update on Turkey’s bid to join the EU due later this week, politicians from Turkey and Europe took the opportunity to rip into each other. Read more