Donald Trump, speaking on Tuesday, said the Iran nuclear deal “didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will”
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EU unites over Trump’s Iran deal exit, House of Lords votes for Norway option, UK threatens to go it alone on satellite system, Luxembourg’s Europe Day celebrations and Bill & Ted adventure continues. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
EU leaders commit to Iran deal
Heads of government in the UK, France and Germany have reiterated their commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in the face of Tuesday’s announcement by US president Donald Trump that the US would “exit the Iran deal”. The leaders said the agreement remains important for shared security. “We urge the U.S. to ensure that the structures of the JCPoA can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal.” Calling the deal “horrible” and “one-sided” Trump signed an executive order re-imposing sanctions on any foreign company that continues to do business with Iran. Reuters reports that the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini said the EU regretted the statement by Trump and would welcome a reconsideration of the US position. The nuclear deal was “crucial to the security of the region, of Europe and of the entire world,” Mogherini told journalists. And Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said there would be a "united European approach" to the US withdrawal from the Iran deal.
Lords vote to keep UK in single market
Britain’s upper house of parliament on Tuesday voted to keep the UK in the EU single market. The House of Lords voted 245 to 218 in favour of an amendment, put forward by Labour peers, instructing the government to begin negotiating future UK membership of the European Economic Area. This is the so-called “Norway option” to Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU. 83 Labour peers voted against the party whip, which had instructed them to abstain from the vote. The Guardian says that the result effectively means that MPs in the lower house will have a vote on staying in the single market. The EEA offers most of the benefits of the single market, but crucially without being subject to the European Court of Justice. It does not cover the common agriculture or fisheries policies. The House of Lords also voted to remove the EU exit date of 29 March 2019 from the Brexit bill.
Future of UK in Galileo uncertain
UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson has said that Britain won’t rule out working with other nations on developing its own navigational satellite system if the EU blocks its access to military-grade data from Galileo. Britain has supplied much of the encryption used by the EU to develop its global navigation satellite system, but the future relationship of the UK in the Galileo programme is now part of the Brexit negotiations. Indeed, a report in Defense News says that Britain has spent about £1.2 billion as its contribution to Galileo’s £9 billion budget, but that industry in the UK “has received a substantial number of Galileo contracts in return.”
Luxembourg celebrates Europe Day
The place d’Armes is the focus of celebrations for Europe Day today, 9 May. A European village with stands and information booths, entertainment from music and dance groups (including the Scottish Country Dance Club) and street art workshop with Luxembourg’s most famous graffiti artist Sumo are all on the programme (French pdf). The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Never too old to party on
News from Hollywood that will interest readers of a certain age is that a third Bill and Ted film has been announced. The Guardian reports that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter will reprise their roles as Theodore “Ted” Logan and “Bill” S Preston Esq. some 30 years after the original film was released.