At #AIWA! NO! News, we focus on people and events that affect people's lives. We bring topics to light that often go under-reported, listening to all sides of the story and giving a 'voice to the voiceless'.
LONDON (Reuters) – The parliament will vote on Wednesday on whether to leave the European Union in 16 days without an agreement as the government said it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
British lawmakers on Tuesday handed Prime Minister Theresa May a second humiliating defeat on the Brexit plan she had agreed with the EU, plunging the country deeper into political crisis.
The turmoil leaves the world’s fifth largest economy facing a range of scenarios – it could leave without a transition deal; delay the March 29 divorce date enshrined in law; May could hold a snap election or try a third time to get her deal passed; or Britain could hold another Brexit referendum.
On Wednesday, parliament is expected to reject a no-deal Brexit in a vote at 1900 GMT, although this will have no legal force. On Thursday, it will then vote on whether to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit, something to which all the bloc’s other 27 members must agree.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc would need to know why Britain wanted to extend talks and it was up to London to find a way out of the deadlock.
“If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this treaty is – and will remain – the only treaty possible,” Barnier told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Attorney General Geoffrey Cox says “legal risk remains unchanged” in updated #Brexit deal and UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement
In his legal advice on Theresa May’s Strasbourg agreement, Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said that new provisions “reduce the risk” of the UK being “indefinitely and involuntarily” held in the backstop, but said that “the legal risk remains unchanged” that the UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement.
He wrote in his legal advice on the Strasbourg agreements: “I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol’s provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU.
“It may be thought that if both parties deploy a sincere desire to reach agreement and the necessary diligence, flexibility and goodwill implied by the amplified duties set out in the Joint Instrument, it is highly unlikely that a satisfactory subsequent agreement to replace the Protocol will not be concluded.
“But as I have previously advised, that is a political judgment, which, given the mutual incentives of the parties and the available options and competing risks, I remain strongly of the view it is right to make.
“However, the legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”View image on Twitter
LONDON (Reuters) – The future of Britain’s exit from the European Union hung in the balance on Tuesday as lawmakers prepared to vote on a divorce deal after Prime Minister Theresa May won last-minute assurances from the European Union.
Scrambling to plot an orderly path out of the Brexit maze just days before the United Kingdom is due to leave, May rushed to Strasbourg on Monday to agree ‘legally binding’ assurances with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
British lawmakers, who on Jan. 15 voted 432-202 against her deal, were on Tuesday studying the assurances with lawyers. The government’s top lawyer, Geoffrey Cox, is due to give his opinion on Tuesday ahead of the vote due around 1900 GMT.
“We have secured legal changes,” May said in a late night news conference in Strasbourg beside Juncker, 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29.
May said the assurances created an arbitration channel for any disputes on the backstop, “entrenches in legally-binding form” existing commitments that it will be temporary and binds the UK and EU to starting work on replacing the backstop with other arrangements by December 2020.
After two-and-a-half years of haggling since the 2016 Brexit referendum, Juncker cautioned this was the last chance for Britain. “It is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all,” he said.
Sterling rose 1.5 percent against the dollar and to a near two-year high against the euro.
If lawmakers vote down May’s deal, she has promised a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.
The relatively new aircraft type involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash is popular with Irish lessors – Peter Hamilton
Ireland’s main aircraft lessors have had at least 224 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft delivered or are on order, figures compiled by The Irish Times show.
The relatively new aircraft type has recorded two fatal crashes since its entry into service, including that of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Lion Air flight 610.
Dublin-headquartered SMBC Aviation Capital appears to be the biggest owner of MAX 8s that operates out of the Republic, with five owned, three managed and about 110 committed. The company recently delivered one to Icelandair, and in December signed a deal with US budget carrier Southwest for 12 MAX 8s in a sale and leaseback agreement.
There are 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s on the Irish aircraft register, the Irish Aviation Authority has said. It will not follow the lead of regulators in China, Ethiopia and Indonesia, all of whom ordered carriers to ground the 737 MAX model in the wake of the latest crash, which displayed similarities to the earlier Lion Air incident.
Norwegian Air has no current plans to withdraw its 737 MAX aircraft, and Ryanair has said it is reserving judgment on similar models it has ordered. The Irish airline is due to take delivery of 200 Boeing 737 MAX-8s out to 2024.
Some of the aircraft grounded by Chinese and Indonesian authorities include aircraft owned by Irish lessors including SMBC and Avolon.
In December, SMBC delivered the first MAX 8 from its order book to Chinese carrier Lucky Air, with three more to be delivered in the first and second quarter of this year.
In the summer of 2017, Avolon delivered two MAX 8 planes to Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air having originally delivered the world’s first MAX 8 to Malindo Air in May 2017.
Lion Air flight 610 crashed in October 2018, killing all passengers on board, but that specific plane was not owned by any Irish aircraft lessor.
In total, Avolon has agreed to firm orders for 55 MAX 8 aircraft, with options for an additional 20. Goshawk, meanwhile, owns 24 MAX 8s, while AerCap appears to hold five. However, it’s not clear whether AerCap has more on order. The lessor declined to comment.
Other entities which have operations in the Republic with MAX 8s include BBAM and GE Capital Aviation Services.
Fly Leasing has two Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The company’s chief executive, Colm Barrington, has been dealing with Ethiopian Airlines for more than 20 years.
“They’re a fantastic airline who I’ve recently used myself. We’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.”
Mr Barrington added that Fly Leasing has no more orders in for MAX 8s.
It is believed that the aircraft that crashed on Sunday was directly owned by the airline rather than leased.
US manufacturer Boeing has faced questions over the safety of the aircraft given the fact that two have been involved in fatal crashes despite its relatively recent introduction into airline fleets.
The company said in a statement that a technical team would be travelling to the crash site to provide assistance to the Ethiopian accident investigation bureau.