Category Archives: News

Joint Statement On The Occasion Of The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia And Biphobia In Romania

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we express our support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities in Romania

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), we express our solidarity with all marginalized groups in Romania, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual characteristics.

LGBTI persons continue to face discrimination. Our countries seek to combat such discrimination by promoting human rights for everyone. This respect for fundamental human rights and dignity obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure that all people enjoy equal treatment and equal opportunities. We believe that only when diversity is appreciated and supported can a country achieve its full potential.

The 2019 Bucharest Pride March will take place on 22 June, while the third edition of Cluj Pride March will be held on 15 June and Timisoara Pride Festival on June 3-9. In this context, we support all the lawful and peaceful manifestations to enhance the importance of the International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Romania.

The joint statement is issued by the embassies of: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and the Representation of the European Commission.

EU Exit Guidance For Food, Drink And Farming Sector Stakeholders

The Agri-Food chain stakeholder team at Defra has shared guidance to ensure that businesses are ready for a potential ‘no deal’ scenario

Stakeholders in the food, drink and farming sectors need to be prepared for EU exit

Stakeholders in the food, drink and farming sectors need to be prepared for EU exit

Background

As part of preparations for exiting the EU, Defra are continuing to create guidance to ensure that businesses are aware of forthcoming changes and ready for day one in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario. The Agri-Food Chain Stakeholder Engagement team has shared seven key food, drink and agriculture related government communications that have been released in recent days and weeks.

How to import organic produce if the UK leaves the EU with no deal – Certificate of Inspection

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the way in which we import organic produce will change as we will lose access to TRACES NT. Imports from third countries (excluding the EU, EEA and Switzerland until 31 December 2020) will still require a Certificate of Inspection (CoI). This will be a UK CoI and will be a manual system for an interim period until an electronic replacement is available. This system mirrors the system that was in place 17 months ago.

Defra have circulated the CoI template, guidance and resources to a number of stakeholders and are working on updating their webpages.

For any questions contact megan.young@defra.gov.uk

Please find information that the food and drink sector need to know before we leave the EU. This is a helpful tool that can be shared with your members and supply chains. Included are social media assets, flyers, animations and posters.

Nutrition and health claims on foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

The UK nutrition and health claims register sets out all authorised and rejected nutrition and health claims. In the event of a no-deal EU Exit, only authorised claims in the register may be used in the UK. Find more information from Department for Health and Social Care.

Vitamins and minerals in foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

Department for Health and Social Care have also released the UK register and associated guidance which specifies which vitamins and minerals may be added to foods, and any substances that are banned or restricted, in the event of a no-deal EU Exit.

VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

HMRC have released information and guidance for UK businesses who move goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import VAT will be due on goods that are moved from Ireland to Northern Ireland at the relevant rate. If you move goods into Northern Ireland from any other country, or from Ireland directly to Great Britain, you should follow the relevant customs procedures.

Customs procedures for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

There is HMRC guidance for businesses who move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. These goods will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

UK signs trade continuity agreement with Caribbean countries

Department for International Trade have published a press releasehighlighting that the UK has signed a trade continuity agreement with a series of countries in the Caribbean.

Food and Drink and Farming landing pages

We recommend that stakeholders continue to check for updated no deal guidance on our dedicated landing page for the food and drink sector. There is also a farming sector landing page. These pages have been created to ensure that EU Exit guidance is easy to find. The landing pages combine all relevant EU Exit guidance in the case of a no deal scenario for the Food and Drink and farming sector stakeholders and are updated regularly with new no deal communications as they become live.

Speech: PM Statement At The EU Council: 21 March 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May’s press statement at the EU Council

PM EUCO

PM EUCO

I have just met with Donald Tusk following the EU Council’s discussion on the UK’s request for the approval of the Strasbourg supplementary documents and for a short extension to the Article 50 process.

Firstly I welcome the Council’s approval of the legally-binding assurances in relation to the Northern Ireland backstop which I negotiated with President Juncker last week.

This should give extra assurance to Parliament that, in the unlikely event the backstop is ever used, it will only be temporary; and that the UK and the EU will begin work immediately to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by the end of December 2020.

After a lengthy discussion, the council today also agreed, subject to a successful vote next week, that in order to provide time for the UK Parliament to agree and ratify a Brexit deal, the date of our departure will now be extended to 22 May.

If Parliament does not agree a deal next week, the EU Council will extend Article 50 until 12 April. At this point we would either leave with no deal, or put forward an alternative plan.

If this involved a further extension it would mean participation in the European Parliamentary elections.

As I have said previously, I believe strongly that it would be wrong to ask people in the UK to participate in these elections three years after voting to leave the EU.

What the decision today underlines is the importance of the House of Commons passing a Brexit deal next week so that we can bring an end to the uncertainty and leave in a smooth and orderly manner.

Tomorrow morning, I will be returning to the UK and working hard to build support for getting the deal through.

I know MPs on all sides of the debate have passionate views, and I respect those different positions.

Last night I expressed my frustration. I know that MPs are frustrated too. They have difficult jobs to do.

I hope we can all agree, we are now at the moment of decision.

I will make every effort to ensure that we are able to leave with a deal and move our country forward.

HMA Kate Smith Meets With Expats In Crete

British Ambassador Kate Smith CMG visited Crete to speak with UK nationals living on the island and to meet with local authorities and businesses

HMA Kate Smith CMG

HMA Kate Smith CMG

During her 2-day visit to the island of Crete, HMA Kate Smith CMG spoke to over 400 UK nationals about EU exit-related issues, emphasising that safeguarding the rights of UK nationals living in the EU has been a top priority throughout the negotiating process. Meetings were also held with local officials and businesses.

Beginning in Western Crete, the Ambassador met with the Mayor of Apokoronas, Charalampos Koukianakis, and Reverend Canon D. Bruce Bryant-Scott of the Anglican Church of St. Thomas, which is located in the region. The Ambassador then spoke to a large audience of UK nationals at the Town Hall of Apakoronas, providing official information and answering questions.

The next stop was the city of Rethymno, where the Ambassador spoke to another large group of UK nationals. Just outside of Rethymno, HMA Kate Smith CMG then visited the facilities of Creta Farms, one of the largest companies in the meat and deli meats sector in Greece, where she met with the Director of Industrial Production.

On the second day of her visit to Crete, the Ambassador visited the East side of the island where she met with the mayor of Agios Nikolaos, Antonis Zervos, and then spoke to another large group of British UK nationals who reside in that area.

Continuing on to Heraklion, HMA Kate Smith CMG was part of a very constructive round table discussion with the President of the Heraklion Chamber of Commerce, Manolis Alifierakis, the President of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos, and local businessmen who export products to the UK or are supported by British tourism. The focus was on the mutual interest of all to secure positive commercial relations, post-EU exit, between Greece and the UK.

The fourth and final outreach event took place in the town of Malia.

The meetings in Crete were organised as part of a wider series of such events being planned across the country, in an ongoing effort to reach as many UK nationals living in Greece as possible.

Climate, Environment, And Conservation: U.S. National Statement At COP24

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Katowice, Poland

Judith G. Garber

Judith G. Garber

President of COP 24, Excellencies, and Distinguished Delegates; I am so pleased to be with you today. I am grateful to our gracious hosts here in Poland for their hospitality, excellent preparation, and leadership.

The United States supports a balanced approach that promotes economic growth, improves energy security, and protects the environment.

The U.S. record of accomplishment and leadership is clear: Our energy-related CO2 emissions have fallen by 14 percent since 2005, even as our economy has grown by over 19 percent.

As President Trump announced last year, the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, absent the identification of terms that are more favorable to the American people. He also made clear that the United States will continue to be a leader in clean energy, innovation, and emissions reduction. Our National Security Strategy declares “The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding our economy. This achievement, which can serve as a model to other countries, ?ows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation.”

The global climate conversation needs to embrace not only aspiration but today’s reality. The U.S. approach incorporates the realities of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies as cleanly and efficiently as possible, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.

This diverse energy portfolio is possible thanks to early stage research and development and private sector finance and innovation.

A quarter of our energy-sector CO2 reduction has come from utilizing natural gas. The U.S. natural gas boom is the result of years of U.S. innovation and R&D investment. General Electric, the U.S. National Laboratories, and American entrepreneurs all played a role in perfecting the extraction techniques that unleashed America’s natural gas revolution.

R&D and operational experience are bringing down the cost of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage or CCUS. One hybrid coal and gas power plant in Texas captures more than 90 percent of the emissions from its flue gas stream. CCUS enhances our energy security and economic development and preserves the environment.

The United States is home to the world’s largest nuclear power industry. Thanks to significant investment by the U.S. Department of Energy and the private sector, the first Small Modular Reactors will be operational by the mid-2020s. They will be flexible, scalable, easier to finance, and capable of powering remote areas and micro-grids.

In 2017, the United States exported more advanced energy technology than any other country in the world. The United States is also the world’s largest oil and gas producer and the second largest producer of renewable energy.

In 2018, the United States announced new R&D funding in nuclear, solar, marine, and fossil energy. We are making significant progress in Smart Grids, advanced storage technologies, wind, and hydropower.

In sum, the United States will continue to engage our many partner countries and allies around the world to reduce emissions, to continue to adapt to climate change, and to respond to natural disasters. We will also work with other countries to develop and deploy a broad array of technologies, as we continue to promote economic growth, improve energy security, and protect the environment.

Thank you.

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