Quentin Peel

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Another CDU Leadership Race Begins in Merkel’s Shadow

Perhaps it will be second time lucky. At the end of April, Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will elect a new party leader to follow in the footsteps of Angela Merkel. An emergency party congress has been summoned to do that after the surprise resignation of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s chosen successor.

The plan is to leave the decision on who will be the CDU candidate for chancellor at the next election until after Germany’s EU presidency concludes in December. So Merkel will keep her job until 2021, and the new leader will have to learn to live with her.

The three leading candidates are Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen, all from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the deadline of March 29 approaches when the UK is supposed to leave the European Union, the nightmare of Brexit is reaching a climax. Yet the dreadful truth dawning in London, Brussels and across the EU is that the painful process will probably drag on for many months, if not years, beyond the cut-off date.

This week Theresa May, UK prime minister, will ask her parliament to choose between three options. First, she desperately hopes to win approval for the withdrawal agreement she has negotiated with her 27 partners in the EU. It will be a small miracle if she succeeds.…  Seguir leyendo »

7 May: Emmanuel Macron addresses supporters in Paris after winning the presidential election. Photo: Getty Images.

The resounding election victory for Emmanuel Macron as French president – the youngest leader of France since Napoleon Bonaparte – has been greeted with relief and enthusiasm across Europe. He defeated Marine Le Pen of the far-right Front National with more than 66 per cent of the vote, on a passionately pro-European platform, promising radical economic reform in France and deeper integration in the European Union.

The German government said his poll success was ‘a victory for a strong and united Europe.’ The reaction in London was rather more cautious: ‘France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new president on a wide range of shared priorities.’…  Seguir leyendo »

Pascal Lamy. Photo: Chatham House.

The former European commissioner for trade and director-general of the WTO speaks with Quentin Peel about the complexity of the Brexit negotiations and his regret on seeing the UK leave the EU.

Do you believe that this Brexit negotiation can possibly be completed in the legal timescale of two years?

Frankly speaking, no. When I look at the to-do list, which is this telephone book of issues that will need to be settled and negotiated, I don’t think it can be done within two years. But what is probably doable is to have an interim agreement that settles most of the things that have to be settled short-term and that puts down the principles according to which we will negotiate the rest.…  Seguir leyendo »