EU's Juncker eyes free trade pact with Africa

Doris Richards
September 12, 2018

Britain will never be able to rival the European Union's Galileo space project after Brexit and will not be allowed to "pick and choose" access to the single market, Jean-Claude Juncker said today.

Although Mr Juncker said he would not allow the United Kingdom to remain in any part of the single market, he said he did not want a hard border in Ireland.

"It is absurd that Europe pays for 80 percent of its energy import bill, worth €300bn a year, in USA dollars when only roughly two percent of our energy imports come from the United States". He said airlines should also buy planes priced in euros not dollars. Among the most important of these are Gulf states and Russian Federation.

Juncker said the EU needs to shape global affairs, and called for a "European sovereignty" on the world stage, but one which, he added, would not replace national sovereignty.

European authorities are planning to slap internet companies like Google and Facebook with big fines if they don't take down extremist content within one hour.

Brussels gave internet firms three months in March to show they were acting faster to take down radical posts, but European Union regulators say too little is being done without legislation forcing them to do so.

Meanwhile, Juncker said that solidarity with Ireland over tough Brexit talks will remain a priority for the EU.

Juncker said the corps should be funded by some 2.2 billion euros in European Union money from the bloc's next long-term budget.

"This is why we want to find solutions that prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland", he said, adding the European Union will stand in solidarity with Ireland.

The president used his annual address to the EU's parliament to pledge the extra border force over the next two years, in a bid to stem the migrant crisis which began in 2015.

He said: "I welcome Prime Minister May's proposal to develop an ambitious new partnership for the future, after Brexit".

"But we also ask the British government to understand that someone who leaves the Union can not be in the same privileged position as a member state".

He said he respected Britain's decision to leave the union, but warned, however: "If you leave the union you are of course not part of our single market and certainly not only in parts of it".

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker undermined a key part of Britain's plan to quit the bloc, warning that it can not expect to remain in parts of the single market.

"Africa does not need charity, it needs a balanced partnership and Europe needs this partnership just as much", he said to MEPs.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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