Category Archives: News

HMA Open Letter To British Citizens In Spain On Brexit Negotiations

As many of you are no doubt aware, this autumn will be an important period in the ongoing Brexit negotiations, leading up to the European Council meeting on 18 October

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

Ahead of that, you might have seen that the Government has published a series of techncal notices on a range of areas, to help businesses and citizens prepare in the unlikely event of a no deal Brexit. Firstly, let me reassure you though that the Government does not want, nor does it expect, a no deal outcome in the negotiations. As a result of the significant progress made in negotiations, I remain confident that the UK will agree a positive and ambitious deal with the EU – an outcome that is in the interests of both the UK and the EU, and in the interest of both British and EU citizens.

And of course, we continue to discuss the implementation of the deal agreed last December on the rights of UK citizens currently living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK with the Spanish authorities. But as a responsible government, we must prepare for all eventualities, however unlikely. Hence these technical notices on driving licences, and travelling between the UK and the EU, amongst other subjects.

I appreciate that this is a period of uncertainty and many of you have questions and want more advice for UK nationals living in Spain. We want to help you prepare for all scenarios and further relevant information will continue to be made available on gov.uk over the coming weeks. And both the Embassy and Consulates will continue with the outreach events that we have planned throughout Spain, with some 20 such events planned between now and the end of the year, and ensure that your questions and concerns are shared with the relevant UK government departments.

In the meantime, please ensure you are correctly registered here in Spain, and stay up to date with the latest news, by signing up for email alerts and visiting the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk, and continue to follow our “Brits in Spain” social media channels, including on facebook. Both I and our UK in Spain consular teams will continue to share with you what we know, when we know it, to provide you with as much clarity as possible.

Germany Accepts Former Nazi Slave-Labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

Nazi Slave-labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

Nazi Slave-labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

The United States expresses its deep appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany for re-admitting former Nazi slave-labor camp guard Jakiw Palij, who was removed from the United States on August 20.

During World War II, Palij served as an armed guard at the Trawniki slave-labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. He concealed his Nazi service when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1949. A federal court stripped Palij of his citizenship in 2003 and a U.S. immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States in 2004 based on his wartime activities and postwar immigration fraud.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.  External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

France National Day

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my best wishes to the people of the French Republic as you celebrate your National Day.

France is our oldest friend and ally. The strength of our relationship is reflected in President Macron’s recent visit to the United States when we celebrated the ideals of freedom and peace that we both cherish and the historical ties that bind our countries. France has had an immeasurable influence on our culture, and our alliance benefits from the countless links between our people.

Our shared history has nurtured close cooperation. We support each other in our determination to foster democracy, to prevent the spread of global violence, and to promote prosperity worldwide. Together, we address 21st century challenges to ensure a safe and prosperous world for both our countries.

The United States looks eagerly to a future of continued friendship and close cooperation between our two great nations.

Scotland Secretary Updates Scottish Business Leaders On Brexit

Scottish Secretary David Mundell hosted an EU exit roundtable with businesses in Edinburgh

EU exit roundtable

EU exit roundtable

At an EU exit roundtable in Edinburgh today [12 July 2018] the Scottish Secretary gave an update on the UK Government’s proposals for exiting the European Union.

On the day the UK Government published The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Mr Mundell met with leading figures from Scotland’s business, energy, fishing, farming, food and drink and financial services sectors. He set out how these proposals will bring significant benefits to Scotland and the whole of the UK. He listened closely to the views of those round the table.

Mr Mundell said:

We have an ambitious and comprehensive plan which respects what the UK Government has heard from businesses about how they want to trade after Brexit.

Our proposals will ensure that Scotland – and the rest of the UK – is best placed to capitalise on the opportunities of Brexit.

It is a plan which is good for jobs and prosperity and for the safety and security of people here and in Europe. We will take back control of our borders, our money and our laws, but do so in a way that protects jobs, allows us to strike new trade deals through an independent trade policy and keeps our people safe and our Union together.

It was very useful to discuss our proposals with Scottish businesses and hear their views.

The proposals, agreed at last week’s Chequers meeting, include:

  • A UK-EU free trade area that will avoid the need for customs and regulatory checks at the border. The friction-free movement of goods is the only way to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
  • A new business-friendly customs model—a facilitated customs arrangement—that would remove the need for customs checks and controls between the UK and the EU. Crucially, it would also allow the UK to pursue an independent trade policy. The UK would apply the UK’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the UK and the EU’s tariffs and trade policy for goods intended for the EU.
  • The UK will have its own independent trade policy, with its own seat at the World Trade Organisation and the ability to set tariffs for its trade with the rest of the world.
  • A far-reaching security partnership that will ensure continued close co-operation with allies across Europe while enabling the UK Government to operate an independent foreign and defence policy.

The UK Government will be accelerating negotiations over the summer, securing a new relationship in the autumn, passing the withdrawal and implementation Bill and leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019.

Population, Refugees, And Migration: Framework Discussions For Cooperation Between The United States And The Office Of The United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

On June 22 in Geneva, officials from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) held an all-day senior-level review of the 2018-2019 PRM-UNHCR Framework for Cooperation. First signed in 2000, the biennial Framework for Cooperation focuses on shared goals and priorities consistent with UN humanitarian reform efforts as well as oversight, monitoring, communications, and reporting requirements at an institutional level between UNHCR and its largest single donor, the United States.

Given the unprecedented and increasing gap between needs and assistance, these Framework discussions present an opportunity to determine the best and most impactful use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The discussions centered on the need for UNHCR to increase burden sharing, advance data-driven reform efforts, and pursue efficiency and effectiveness. The U.S. government is seeking tangible results across the humanitarian system, including on prioritized joint needs assessments and reduced duplication and management costs.

These discussions are in line with the U.S. government’s continued UN reform and management goals. The discussions also aligned with the 2016 Grand Bargain commitments that aim to improve global aid delivery among the world’s largest donors and aid providers. UNHCR committed to undertaking steps to enhance real-time reporting on the impact of U.S. contributions and increase visibility of the United States’ leading role in supporting refugees around the world. The discussion also focused on procedures to prevent and combat fraud, corruption, or misconduct, especially regarding sexual exploitation and abuse.

The U.S. delegation emphasized the need for UNHCR and development partners to achieve coherence between humanitarian aid and development assistance, including through its work to implement the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, which is in line with the ongoing international Global Refugee Compact consultation process.

The Department of State is proud of its long-standing and robust partnership with UNHCR. Through the nearly $1.5 billion in funding provided to UNHCR in Fiscal Year 2017 and the important humanitarian diplomacy conducted by the Department of State’s diplomatic personnel worldwide, the U.S. government and UNHCR remain strong partners in our effort to protect and find durable solutions for the millions of refugees, stateless persons, internally displaced, and other persons of concern around the world.

For further information, please contact PRM Press at PRMPress@state.gov.

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