Tag Archives: guy verhofstadt

EU citizenship post-Brexit: one step closer?

 

Guy Verhofstadt is a hero in our unheroic age. Whilst confusion and fear over Brexit stalk the lives of many, Theresa May hides behind the camouflage of providing “no running commentary” – helpful cover for a government with no plan and no idea – and European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier understandably asserts that he cannot negotiate a British exit from the EU until Britain confirms it actually wants to exit the EU.

Into this vacuum steps Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian MEP and former prime minister who heads the Liberal group in the European Parliament. Relatively quietly, it is Guy who has put the first concrete proposal onto the exit talks agenda: opt-in EU citizenship post-Brexit for Brits who want it. It is something I have been making a pitch for here and elsewhere for the last couple of months, including two articles (here and here) in The New European newspaper.

In the last few days, Guy has made this commitment: “I, as Brexit negotiator for the Parliament, will ensure that it is included in the Parliament’s negotiating mandate.” With a single, decisive act, he has done more to include Britain’s pro-Europeans in the Brexit process than our own government has attempted in six months.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments

ALDE MEP Charles Goerens proposes EU citizenship for members of former Member States

It looks as if it isn’t just the Liberal Democrats who are keen to remain within the European Union. Charles Goerens, a member of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament from Luxembourg, has suggested that there might be scope for those British citizens who wish to be part of the Union to obtain associate citizenship.

He has submitted an amendment to a draft report from Guy Verhofstadt on “Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union”, which reads;

Advocates to insert in the Treaties a European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Witney could be a turning point for the Lib Dems

The result in the Witney by-election was a substantial swing to the LibDems, jumping from fourth place on 6.8% to second place on 30.2%. Liz Leffman and her team did an outstanding job, and the party was clearly ready to rally to the cause.

Over the next few days there were speculations about what that would mean if replicated at a General Election, with estimates of the number of seats likely to switch from Tory to LibDem put between 26 and 51. The statistician in me is wary of those extrapolations: there are lots of unknowns at by-elections, and British politics is especially turbulent at the moment.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Introducing the new hate figure for the tabloid press…

The European Parliament has appointed its lead negotiator for the Brexit discussions. And it’s someone well known to Liberal Democrats. He announced it on his Twitter this afternoon:

The BBC has this to say about his appointment:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt – David Cameron wants a two-speed Europe

 

Guy Verhofstadt heads the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and is the former Prime Minister of Belgium. In the Independent he examines David Cameron’s stance on Europe under the headline “EU referendum: David Cameron should spell it out. He wants a two-speed Europe“. He writes:

This week, or so we are told, the Prime Minister will set out his Christmas list of EU reforms to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. A broad agreement on the UK’s renegotiation package is envisaged at the December summit of European leaders. There will be battles and setbacks in the weeks to come, but there are reasons to think a deal can be found.

Many in continental Europe strongly agree with David Cameron that the European Union of today is not fit for purpose and is in need of fundamental reform. Most accept that the direction of travel has shifted towards some form of “two-speed Europe”, broadly based around eurozone “ins” and “outs”. And clarifying these two types of membership would surely be progress, compared with the chaotic multi-speed, hotchpotch EU of today. Maybe it is time for Cameron to be explicit and use the expression “two-speed”.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tears into Greece/Alexis Tsipras in the European parliament – and the reply

Newshound covered this on Thursday, but here’s a second chance to view Guy Verhofstadt, Member of the European Parliament and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, telling Alexis Tsipras very precisely and passionately what Greece has to do. It’s a real zinger of a speech (and much better than Nigel Farage’s foghorned nonsense).

If you haven’t seen this, it’s well worth looking at. It’s the one commentary on the Greek situation which, for me, has made real sense:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tells it to Greece and the EU like it is

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, has set out a potential solution to the Greek crisis in an article for Politico. He makes it clear that there are faults on both sides and both sides need to take constructive action to resolve the crisis fairly for everyone.

We are in this mess because the Greeks never made a real reform package, or a clear break with their mistakes from the past. But also because Europe has followed wrong policies — policies of pure accountancy that slowly but steadily choked the Greek economy. Everybody can make the wrong policy choices, but we have been clinging on to them far too long.

He implores people to stop the scaremongering:

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged and | 16 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPalehorse 23rd Nov - 7:31am
    John, As a "better informed individual" could I ask you when is your leaving date?
  • User AvatarPalehorse 23rd Nov - 6:32am
    Katharine, Be fair. I didn't refer to Remainers as impulsive and emotional (I am one and I switched from Leave after much reflection) but to...
  • User AvatarJohn King 23rd Nov - 12:58am
    I meant, I'm NOT even a politician. (thank God)
  • User AvatarJohn King 23rd Nov - 12:53am
    Public opinion has hardly moved at all since the referendum and this is not surprising – large numbers of Britons read the Daily Mail and...
  • User AvatarSheila Gee 22nd Nov - 10:38pm
    frankie “I’m not sweeping any lies under the carpet” So you finally acknowledge that there were Remainer lies. “The fact is lies where told and...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 22nd Nov - 9:27pm
    Peter Martin - 'Older people, if they aren’t economically active, will always be dependent on younger people, even if they’ve saved their own money.' There...