Is a ‘No-deal Brexit’ one of ‘biggest threats to European unity’ ?

A chaotic, no-deal Brexit would create a strategic split between Britain and its European allies that would take a generation to heal, Britain’s foreign secretary will warn on Tuesday. Jeremy Hunt will tell the US Institute of Peace in Washington that failure to reach a Brexit deal would add to the threats facing the values underpinning the post-war international order.

“One of the biggest threats to European unity would be a chaotic no-deal Brexit. Britain would, of course, find a way to prosper and we have faced many greater challenges in our history. But the risk of a messy divorce, as opposed to the friendship we seek, would be a fissure in relations between European allies that would take a generation to heal – a geostrategic error for Europe at an extremely vulnerable time in our history,” he will say.

“So, as I have been saying to European governments, now is the time for the European Commission to engage with an open mind with the fair and constructive proposals made by the prime minister.”

Mr Hunt faced criticism from hardline Conservative Brexiteers last week when he described a no-deal Brexit as “a mistake we would regret for generations”. He tweeted later that Britain would survive and prosper without a deal, suggesting that failure to reach an agreement would be a big mistake for Europe.

His latest remarks come as the British government prepares to publish the first tranche of more than 70 “technical notices” designed to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. The notices will include advice for businesses, citizens and public bodies on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on everything from air services to veterinary medicine.

One notice is expected to cover the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for the Common Travel Area between Britain and the Republic. Downing Street said the advice would be “sensible, proportionate, and part of a common-sense approach to ensure stability, whatever the outcome of talks”.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that EU citizens now in Britain will be allowed to continue living and working in the country even if there is no Brexit deal. Britain would make the offer unilaterally, regardless of whether the EU offers similar rights to British citizens living on the continent.

“Making an offer is not only important to provide certainty publicly, but will enable the UK government to take the moral high ground. A number of other plans are also dependent on the government’s position on this issue, relying heavily on the availability of existing labour in a ‘no deal’ scenario,” the Telegraph quoted a leaked cabinet paper as saying.

You can read the full article here: Article: Irish Times

Source: Irish Times

Improving economic opportunities and prospects for the world’s least developed countries remains a key global challenge.

At last week’s Göobal Forum on Inclusive Trade for Least Developed Coubtries (LCDs), governments, businesses, NGOs, and researchers gathered at the World Trade Organizations’ headquarters in Geneva to discuss the importance of trade to the economic and social development of least developed countries — and the unique challenges they face.

The conference, hosted by the Engancwd Integrated Framework, had more than 300 participants, including representatives from more than 40 LDCs. With LDCs leading much of the discussion, the two-day conference provided an opportunity to highlight their commitment to global trade while sharing ideas and experiences on strategies for strong footing in the global trade environment.

Here is a link to the entire article: Trade for Development


Sweden yesterday became European Champions in Handball U18 Men after winning 32-27 in the final against Iceland.

Swedish superstar Ludvig Hallbäck – from my home club Ystads IF – was man-of-the-match with 11 goals and he also became the top scorer of the tournament.

We won a Swedish gold in Croatia. The future of Swedish handball looks fantastic!

We are back on top!

The government is set to publish the first in a series of technical notices designed to prepare the UK for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

The notices will include advice for businesses, citizens and public bodies.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said securing a deal was still “the most likely outcome” – but added making alternative arrangements was the “responsible” thing to do.

The European Union has already prodiced 68 technical notices of its own.

Between late August and the end of September, government departments are expected to publish around 70 technical notices.

Mr Raab – who travels to Brussels this week to continue negotiations with the EU – said the advice was necessary to “mitigate the risks and make sure the UK is ready to make a success of Brexit”.

He added the government wanted to “clearly set out the steps that people, businesses and public services need to take in the unlikely event that we don’t reach an agreement” with the EU.

Downing Street described the advice due on Thursday as “sensible, proportionate, and part of a common sense approach to ensure stability, whatever the outcome of talks”.

The day will also see Mr Raab make a speech in Westminster to outline the government’s plans for the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal in March next year.

Downing Street said it wanted to ensure “consumers and businesses are not harmed” by the possibility of no deal being agreed.

There are not many people that becomes legends in their own time. Someone has said there are maybe 2-3 in every generation.

I think that one of them left us today.

Today we mourn the loss of a great man, a leader, and a visionary – former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kofi had a connection to Sweden being married to his Swedish wife Nane.

When He enetered a room you could feel thst he had that energy, integrity and charisma that only great leaders have. I have had the honor to experience that myself.

Jens Stoltenberg, Head of NATO, tweeted that the world had lost one of its giants. “His warmth should never be mistaken for weakness,” he said. “Annan showed that one can be a great humanitarian and a strong leader at the same time.”

Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, and was the first to rise from within the ranks of the United Nations staff.

He had also been a member, since 2007, of The Elders, a humanitarian group of a dozen leaders and activists of worldwide stature formed by Nelson Mandela. In 2013, Annan became its chairman.

The present Secretary-General Antionio Guterres expressed the admirstion and gratefulness for Kofi Annans lifelong service to the organtization.

“In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of usd”

Kofi Annan was UN. He lived and served his life in the organization and for the people of the world. For us.

Maersk and IBM have introduced their global blockchain solution TradeLens, with 94 organizations already participating. The companies announced their joint venture in January this year after collaborating on the concept since 2016.

Early adopters include more than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia. They join the global APM Terminals’ network in piloting the solution at over 230 marine gateways worldwide.

Pacific International Lines has joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating. Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are participating, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.

Participation among beneficial cargo owners has grown to include Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet. Freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies including Agility, CEVA Logistics, DAMCO, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance.

TradeLens uses IBM Blockchain technology built on open standards to establish a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can interact via real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

Using blockchain smart contracts, TradeLens enables digital collaboration across the multiple parties involved in international trade. The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as Customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate in cross-organizational business processes and information exchanges, all backed by a secure, non-repudiable audit trail.

During a 12-month trial, Maersk and IBM worked with dozens of partners to identify opportunities to prevent delays caused by documentation errors and information delays. One example demonstrated how TradeLens can reduce the transit time of a shipment of packaging materials to a production line in the U.S. by 40 percent, avoiding thousands of dollars in cost.

Through better visibility and more efficient means of communicating, some supply chain participants estimate they could reduce the steps taken to answer basic operational questions such as “where is my container” from 10 steps and five people to, with TradeLens, one step and one person.

More than 154 million shipping events have been captured on the platform, including data such as arrival times of vessels and container “gate-in,” and documents such as customs releases, commercial invoices and bills of lading. This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day.

TradeLens is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.

Source: Martine Executive/Mike Poverello