Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

United Kingdom overseas territories at risk of losing funding after Brexit

United Kingdom overseas territories at risk of losing funding after Brexit

According to the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis, the parties have managed to achieve "concrete progress", while European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier stated skepticism, saying there was no decisive progress on any of the principal subjects.

Bulgaria and Romania should become members of the European Union's borderless Schengen area as soon as possible for the bloc to be able to step up protection of its external borders, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.

He also backed the creation of a new European economics and finance minister, an idea proposed by Emmanuel Macron; as well as reforms to the European Parliament that would see some MEPs elected from European-wide lists voted on by all countries at once. The United Kingdom formally triggered the Brexit process on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.

Mr Juncker also ruled out membership of the European Union for Turkey in the near future, and used his speech to attack moves afoot in the country to curtail press freedom, demanding of the regime of President Recep Erdogan that it "let our journalists go", a reference to recent arrests of French and German members of the press.

"We must respect the will of the British people, but we will move forward, we will move forward - because Brexit is not everything, because Brexit is not the future of Europe", the veteran politician added.

In the speech, the president painted a bright picture for the future of the EU.

"We have now a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever".

Growth across the union had outstripped the United States for the last two years, and eight million jobs had been created. There was no immediate official comment from the European Commission, which is the EU executive. "Though I am sure that had eight million jobs been lost, we would have taken the blame".

Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, Juncker said that it was time to "raise anchor, get going, set sail" with recent headlines dominated by trade links with the USA and the Brexit negotiations.

The Independent newspaper website in Britain reported that it believed British Prime Minister Theresa May was likely to make an important speech on Brexit talks on September 22.

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