Public life has almost come to a standstill and we miss each other.

Public life has almost come to a standstill and we miss each other.

This means that the exit from the EU should actually take place at the end of January after several postponements. Then a transition phase begins, in which Great Britain remains in the EU internal market and in the customs union. This is to avoid a hard cut for the economy.

Free trade agreements in record time

The transition phase will last until December 31, 2020. During this period, both sides want to negotiate a major free trade agreement. However, such an agreement has never been signed with the EU in such a short period of time. However, Johnson wants to rule out an extension of the transition phase and has therefore anchored in its Brexit law that London cannot apply for a further deadline from the EU.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had predicted difficult negotiations on future relations with Great Britain on Wednesday. "There will be tough conversations and each side will do what is best for them"said von der Leyen before meeting Johnson in London. The latter, on the other hand, confirmed his rejection of an extension of the Brexit transition phase.

Upswing after the exit ?: The EU should hope for a Brexit debacle Before meeting von der Leyen: Johnson wants a punctual free trade agreement with the EU After the election debacle: Labor sets high hurdles for Corbyn’s successors

However, London indicated that it could be content with a partial agreement if a comprehensive agreement is not reached by the end of the year. "We have made it very clear that we want to move forward in negotiating an agreement"said Johnson’s spokesman.

Sources used: AFP news agency

The days of tight voting results are over. Johnson’s Brexit deal on Britain’s exit from the EU is as good as sealed. But only then do the difficult negotiations with the EU begin.

Power signal in London: The British Parliament voted in favor of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement on Friday. The draft for the corresponding ratification law was adopted by the new conservative majority in government in second reading. Great Britain has thus come a big step closer to leaving the EU on January 31. Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May had failed three times with her agreement.

The prime minister responded to criticism during the debate by rolling his eyes and shaking his head. After Johnson’s overwhelming election victory, the opposition in the House of Commons no longer has any chance to put obstacles in his way. The next stages in the legislative process are to be completed in January. But that is almost a formality. No resistance is expected from the House of Lords either. 

Brexit: All information in the news blog

 Johnson had previously declared the dispute over leaving the EU to be over. The deal paves the way for a new agreement on the future relationship with the EU, based on an ambitious free trade agreement "without being bound by EU rules"says Johnson. He aroused fears in the opposition that he could steer the country towards a deregulated economic model based on the US model.

Above all, the rejection of a possible extension of the transition period after Brexit, which is set out in the draft law, caused criticism. Both sides now only have until the end of 2020 to negotiate a follow-up agreement. Opposition Labor Party’s Brexit expert Keir Starmer called this a "unscrupulous and ridiculous". Let the time be "incredibly short". Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke of one "terrible deal".

EU Council President Charles Michel described the approval of the House of Commons to the EU exit treaty as an important step on the way to ratification. He also stressed on Twitter that a level playing field is essential for future EU-UK relations.

The government made several changes to the bill. Commitments to EU standards for workers‘ rights were deleted. Parliament’s right to have a say in negotiations on future relations with the international community has also been significantly curtailed.

CDU European politician David McAllister regretted Parliament’s decision in favor of Brexit: "It is and remains a historical mistake." It is now important to strive for the closest possible partnership.

European politician Katarina Barley: The SPD politician considers an agreement with London to be possible within a year, but many in Brussels are skeptical. (Source: imago images)

There is also great concern in the EU that after leaving the community of states, Great Britain could gain competitive advantages with social, environmental or tax dumping. "Unfortunately, we can already see this hinted at", said the SPD European politician Katarina Barley on Deutschlandfunk and referred to the possible weakening of workers‘ rights. Johnson is not allowed "paradise" for tax evasion and employee dumping.

"It’s all something like Cloud Cuckoo Land"

Barley thinks an agreement with London is possible within a year, but many in Brussels are skeptical. "It’s all something like Cloud Cuckoo Land"said an EU diplomat. The fact that Johnson wants to legally rule out an extension of the transition phase is probably only a threat "No deal" To be understood by the end of 2020. "However, the potential threat remains limited: the economic consequences of a no-deal would be much more serious for Great Britain than for the EU."

Brexit expert Jürgen Matthes from the Institute of German Economy in Cologne expects at most a simple agreement for duty-free trade in goods by the end of 2020. "In the service trade, on the other hand, not much is to be expected, so that significantly higher barriers will apply from 2021, which will be particularly disadvantageous for the London financial market players", explained Matthes to the German press agency. In any case, the EU is going to make binding commitments for one "level playing field" consist. What is meant are comparable standards and competitive conditions.

The Federation of German Industries warned that the risk of a hard break would not be averted if there was no agreement by the end of the transition phase. "The situation remains serious", explained BDI General Manager Joachim Lang.

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The President of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) Eric Schweitzer welcomed the approval of the House of Commons as a breather. The transition phase would avoid the negative economic consequences for the time being. But he warned that the deadline was very short: "The companies on both sides of the canal now quickly need an economic basis with fair rules and sustainable relationships." Otherwise there is a risk of an unregulated Brexit at the end of 2020, which will seriously disrupt the value and supply chains of many companies.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Ex-tennis pro Boris Becker has a court date on Thursday: his case was referred to Southwark Crown Court in London. It’s about his bankruptcy again.

The three-time Wimbledon winner and six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker has to defend himself against allegations of a bankruptcy authority in a London court. She accuses the 52-year-old of not having cooperated enough in connection with his bankruptcy proceedings. Becker vehemently denies this.

In 2017, he was declared bankrupt by a UK court. In fact, bankruptcy proceedings in the country can be completed after just one year. In Becker’s case, however, the bankruptcy conditions were extended by twelve years – according to which the ex-professional must submit to certain restrictions for insolvent people in Great Britain until October 16, 2031.

Becker’s insolvency case is now treated as a criminal case

The reason is that Becker should not have properly reported transactions from the time before and after the insolvency proceedings. It is now about similar allegations again. If convicted, Becker faces up to seven years in prison.

Insolvency proceedings in London: Boris Becker faces up to seven years in prison. Dispute with tabloid newspaper: “ Shame on you “ – Boris Becker strikes back US Open in the news blog: Boris Becker stunts on live TV

The insolvency authorities are now conducting criminal investigations against the 52-year-old because he is said to have not worked with the authorities as the requirements stipulate. According to the insolvency authorities, Becker will either be in court himself on Thursday or be connected online. Initially, it should primarily be about process-related details.

Sources used: dpa news agency

London (AP) – He made a name for himself as a defender of human rights and a senior public prosecutor – now Keir Starmer, as the new opposition leader in Great Britain, is to unite the deeply divided Labor Party.

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As the British Social Democrats announced on Saturday, the 57-year-old was elected as the new Labor leader. He succeeds Jeremy Corbyn. Under his leadership, Labor suffered its worst defeat since 1935 in the parliamentary elections last December. Angela Rayner, who was previously spokeswoman for education policy, was elected deputy chief.

The former human rights lawyer Starmer prevailed after the first counting round against his competitors Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy with around 56 percent of the vote. His election is seen as a departure from the strictly left-wing course of the British Social Democrats in recent years, which has become an ordeal for the party. The 70-year-old old leftist Corbyn and his colleagues were repeatedly criticized for tolerating anti-Semitic tendencies in their party. Here too, Starmer should work towards a new start.

But Starmer is not a second Tony Blair. He has announced that he wants to reconcile the left and the pragmatic wing of the party. Whether he succeeds in doing so should largely determine his chances of threatening Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Tories.

Starmer was unable to celebrate at a special party conference, as originally planned, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In a video message he described his election as party leader as "greatest honor and privilege" Of his life. "It comes at a time like no other in our lives"said the MP for the London constituency of Holborn and St. Pancras. "The coronavirus has brought our normal life to a halt. Our big cities, towns and villages have become silent, our streets deserted. Public life has almost come to a standstill and we miss each other."

As expected, Starmer held back with all too harsh criticism of the government’s chaotic response to the coronavirus pandemic. The fear is likely to be too great to give the impression of wanting to make political capital out of the crisis. There won’t be any "Opposition for the opposition’s sake" give, but a constructive cooperation, said the politician. Nonetheless, Labor will question the government’s arguments and highlight critical issues, such as where the government is failing or not acting quickly enough.

Johnson’s Conservative government is under great pressure amid the rapidly growing number of corona deaths. It has announced that it will significantly expand its coronavirus tests and procure ventilators and protective clothing for hospital employees. But progress so far has been moderate. The number of deaths from Covid-19 lung disease in the UK rose by 708 on Saturday – a new daily record – to 4,313.

Johnson congratulated Starmer on his election victory and called on the heads of all opposition parties to work together in the fight against the corona crisis. "We have a duty to work together in this time of national emergency"wrote the premier. He invited the opposition party leaders to a joint briefing with government experts next week.

Congratulations also came from Germany. Labor got with the new party leader "a distinguished fighter for justice and a committed representative of the interests of employees" at its head, announced the top SPD duo Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans.

Starmer did not say a single word in his speech on the subject of leaving the EU. He acted as a Brexit expert in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet and is an opponent of leaving the EU. As recently as last year, he was vehemently in favor of putting a second referendum on the Labor Party’s agenda.