Nick Gutteridge Profile picture
Brussels reporter. LCFC fan. Very average cricketer.
LittleGravitas 🇺🇦 🌻 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE Profile picture Birger Leth Profile picture 2 subscribed
Oct 2, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
EP Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, goes on the attack against Brexiteers. He starts, of course, with Boris Johnson, branding the former Foreign Secretary's plan to build a bridge to Northern Ireland 'insane'. He quips: 'Mr Johnson is more known for burning bridges.' Next in his sights is Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is 'saying I have the proposal for the future of Brexit, the ordinary citizens can be secured, their savings will be secure, and in the meanwhile he's opening himself an investment fund in Ireland to transfer his money to Ireland.'
Oct 2, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber, who is chairman of the centre-right EPP grouping, says Jeremy Hunt should apologise for comparing the EU to the Soviet Union. Reaction to the foreign secretary's disastrous speech spills over into a second day. Weber adds the citizens' rights chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement should be ring fenced if there's no deal: 'We must find a way to guarantee the legal status of these citizens even in the case of a hard Brexit. We need the idea of a ring fencing agreement.'
Sep 20, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Salzburg presser with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Council president Donald Tusk and Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker starting now. Kurz says UK and EU must ‘move towards each other’ to avoid a no deal Brexit. Oof. Tusk: 'Eeverybody shared view that while there are positive elements in Chequers proposal, suggested framework for economic cooperation will not work not least because it risks undermining the Single Market.' That'll hurt May coming from him for a change rather than Barnier.
Sep 18, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
EU leaders won't issue new instructions to Barnier on trade in Salzburg. But a top official says they will do so in October: 'If we take the timetable seriously, and we do, then in Oct we need to come back with something on paper, the EU position based on the debate in Salzburg.' At Salzburg leaders will develop a 'common understanding' on what the political declaration will say, but they're also expected to issue a strongly worded reminder that without agreement on the Irish backstop there will be no Withdrawal Agreement, no transition and no trade deal.
Sep 12, 2018 23 tweets 5 min read
1/? Here we go then, Jean-Claude Juncker's (probably) last ever State of the Union speech. Last year's caused quite a stir. Will J-C look to go out with a bang? Expecting big forays on migration, Rule of Law, foreign & defence policy, & probably a small mention of Brexit. #SOTEU Juncker unsurprisingly starts out by talking up the current strengths of the EU economy. He points out there are a record 239 million people in work across Europe and youth unemployment stands at 14.8%. Adds: 'That figure is still too high but it's the lowest figure since 2000.'
Aug 21, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Michel Barnier says U.K. and EU will negotiate ‘continuously’ between now and next March. ‘The negotiations are now entering the final stage’, he warns. Barnier says EU and UK are much closer to a deal on foreign policy, defence and security than on trade. But says compromise for an ‘unprecedented’ partnership can be reached.
Jul 16, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
1/ Just caught up with Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones on his way out of a meeting with Michel Barnier. Snap reflection: ‘I think the UK and the EU are a long way from an agreement. Time’s running out.’ 2/ He presented Barnier with the Welsh government’s Brexit plan which involves staying in the Customs Union but reforming Freedom of Movement to tie the right to reside to having a job offer. In return, MB was tight-lipped on what he thinks of Govt’s White Paper.
Jul 12, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ EU officials tonight greeting the White Paper with v cautious optimism. One told me it’s still too ‘ambiguous’ for their liking and sends mixed messages on the Single Market and Customs Union, but it’s a start. They appreciate it represents a 'shift in position' from the UK. 2/ Member States want to play this one very carefully and by the book. There will be no wholesale trashing of it…yet, anyway. ‘We’ll have to see if this can work. Nobody wants to destroy the negotiation before it’s even begun.’
Jul 12, 2018 15 tweets 5 min read
1/ The Government has now officially published it's White Paper on the future relationship with the EU. Haven't had a chance to read it fully yet (it is almost 100 pages), but a few quick pick ups.… 2/ First up, on goods harmonisation. Britain will sign a treaty upfront guaranteeing to align with EU rules. But parliament will be responsible for passing those rules into British law. Sounds an awful lot like the Norwegian model often dubbed 'fax democracy'.
Jul 3, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
The EU Parliament's microphones seem to have broken. Tad awkward... To pass the time they're running a silent movie of Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov holding court, which is actually more entertaining than the average plenary session anyway to be honest.
Jun 19, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
A really good deconstruction of Commission security slides yesterday, which were pretty much regurgitated whole by Barnier in his speech this morning. Brussels trying to crowbar ECJ jurisdiction into areas it doesn't belong. Will Member States really fight for this if UK objects? A thought: Commission knows how important security relationship is to both sides & how incredibly difficult it would be for either to reject. On that basis is it using this area to try & chip away at UK's red lines in knowledge concessions here are unlikely to be as contentious?
Jun 19, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
Guy Verhofstadt is up now. He starts by saying: 'The best option is Britain stays in the EU and then the problem is resolved naturally. But that's not what the British people want and we have to respect this.' Verhofstadt reels off the Government's red lines in the negotiations. He says this is 'a list that in my opinion severely constrains the Union to ensure that a future relationship is as close as we'd like it to be'.
Jun 19, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Michel Barnier says of the EU: 'This cooperation is both unique and unprecedented and it's made possible by the trust between member states. This trust does not fall from the sky. There is no magic wand.' Barnier: 'To negotiate an ambitious relationship with the UK, which we all want, we need more realism on what's possible and what's not.'
May 30, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
1/ Britain is starting to have success at negotiating more directly with Member States. A series of 'f*** ups' by the Commission, on issues like Galileo and the MFF, has prompted countries to question how Barnier & co are handling the talks on their… 2/ That is not to say EU leaders are going to abandon Michel in a ditch somewhere and decide to play it Theresa's way. They still think Taskforce 50 has done a good job in the negotiations. But they've also realised that sometimes they need to take the reins on some issues.
May 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ This is correct. Reason why Brussels says the backstop cannot apply to the whole UK is because of the fear it would give Britain a back door into the Single Market without following the rules, especially Freedom of Movement. EU negotiators say it's a special deal just for NI. 2/ They admit it's allowing cherry-picking, but say the Irish circumstances are so extenuating they're prepared to tolerate it. When I asked an EU negotiator what backstop they would accept that applied to the whole UK they replied only one: Single Market and Customs Union.
May 16, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
1/ This was, on reflection, a truly farcical escape attempt. Firstly, Javid's officials seemed stunned to see journalists. In the EU Parliament. They genuinely thought the Home Secretary could come to Brussels and we wouldn't find out about it, which is astonishing naivety. 2/ Then they hatched an ingenious plan. MEPs offices have 2 rooms - 1 for them and 1 for their assistant. They'd move us along the corridor and sneak Javid out of the assistant's door. But they moved us the wrong way so we were standing right outside that door when he left.
Mar 14, 2018 12 tweets 2 min read
1/ EU diplomats have updated their draft guidelines for the future partnership and the changes made over the last week give an interesting insight into how differing priorities between Member States are driving a carrot and stick approach towards Britain. 2/ Firstly, the carrots. Reference to negotiating an FTA in the original has been upgraded, so that it will now be a ‘balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging’ deal. Nothing the EU hasn’t said before, but it’s still softer language for the Government.
Mar 8, 2018 23 tweets 9 min read
1/ It got lost in the Brexit maelstrom yesterday, but the EU Parliament's association agreement resolution championed by @guyverhofstadt is a serious document worthy of some consideration. Here are the rather lengthy highlights. 2/ Flexibility is the buzzword. An association agreement provides an overall framework within which the UK and EU could thrash out the terms of a unique future relationship. UK talk of a 'special model' rankles in Brussels whereas this is ‘EU language’ as one source explained.
Jan 31, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1/ This is no surprise - memories of the financial crisis are much fresher on the continent than in the UK. One diplomat recently told me it's 'simply not negotiable for Europe to allow a debilitating chunk of our economy to take place outside our regulatory reach'. 2/ However, if Britain is prepared to compromise on that regulatory reach (signing up to alignment and a strong dispute settlement system) there is scope and some calls within EU27 for a wider deal on financial services than in other EU FTAs like CETA.
Dec 18, 2017 14 tweets 3 min read
1/ Rant time. We all talk about the transition constantly, but often not about why we’re actually doing this. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s Britain's only option. 2/ By any measure it’s a terrible deal. Accepting *all* EU laws (not just some like Norway) - including new ones you get no say over whatsoever - for two years. Nobody would pursue that unless it was their only choice…right?
Dec 18, 2017 18 tweets 3 min read
1/ Brexit briefing by top Barnier adviser @StefaanDeRynck about to start at Chatham House. His comments on trade options will be particularly keenly awaited... 2/ De Rynck says phase two talks will 'not just encompass trade but also look at questions related to the stability of the European continent, police cooperation, counter-terrorism.'