London’s soon-to-be-announced white paper, a plan for the UK’s future after its withdrawal from the EU, has already added to the resignation of the key figures in the British government, including Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
On Thursday, new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is due to present Prime Minister Theresa’s so-called white paper, a document which sets out the government’s plan on Brexit.
Raab said in the foreword to the paper, entitled The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, that “it is a vision that respects the result of the referendum [vote to leave] and delivers a principled and practical Brexit.”
“Leaving the European Union involves challenge and opportunity. We need to rise to the challenge and grasp the opportunities,” he pointed out, touting the white paper as a document that outlines “a comprehensive vision for the future [UK-EU] relationship.”
According to Raab, the white paper will focus on an array of pressing issues and help to
- take Britain out of the single market and the customs union
- give the UK the flexibility to clinch new trade deals across the globe, specifically “breaking new ground for agreements in services”
- ensure “frictionless” UK-EU trade in goods through a new free trade area to meet business interests
- deliver on London and Brussels’ commitments to Northern Ireland and Ireland and avert a hard border “without compromising the EU’s autonomy or the UK’s sovereignty”
- develop an “unprecedented” economic partnership and “unrivalled” security cooperation
- strengthen “unparalleled partnership on cross-cutting issues like data and science and innovation”
Earlier, the white paper drew harsh criticism from eurosceptic members of May’s Cabinet, leading to the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who were replaced with Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt, respectively.European Commission Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier, for his part, described Brexit as an element of stability for the European continent.
He declined to comment on the recent changes in the British government, calling the matter an internal issue of the United Kingdom and stressing that the reshuffle will not affect EU-UK negotiations on Brexit.
German Court Rules to Extradite Ex-Catalan Head For Public Funds Misuse
The German prosecutors have been seeking Puigdemont’s extradition to Spain, where he is wanted for rebellion and misuse of public funds over his role in the campaign for Catalonia’s independence.
Germany’s superior court of Schleswig-Holstein state has made a decision to extradite the ex-head of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont to Spain over accusations for graft.
“Extradition on the accusation of misappropriation of public funds is permissible; extradition on the accusation of rebellion is not permissible,” the court’s statement reads.
Following the announcement, Germany’s state prosecutor said that the decision whether to authorize the former Catal leader’s extradition is due to be made soon.
In April and May, the German prosecutors announced their plans to extradite Puigdemont to Spain for rebellion and misuse of public funds during Catalonia’s independence campaign. However, a German court then ruled to release Puigdemont on bail.
The court decided that extradition of the ex-Catalan leader to Spain was not possible on the charge of rebellion, since it did not see evidence that Puigdemont intended to use force to gain Catalan independence. The court, however, has not ruled out extradition on the charge of embezzlement.In late October, Puigdemont left Spain for Belgium, where he was arrested under an EU warrant. However, a Spanish judge subsequently canceled the warrant until the investigation into Puigdemont is completed. The arrest warrant was renewed on March 23, after which the Catalan politician was detained in Germany as he was traveling back to Belgium by car from Finland.
The Catalan government and parliament were dissolved by the Spanish central government after the October 1 independence referendum, and the adoption of a resolution on Catalonia’s independence from Spain by the regional authorities.