Divorce talks struggle on
European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker today stated that none of the Brexit papers published by the British government recently give him “any real satisfaction.”
As the third round of talks began on Tuesday, Juncker criticised the papers produced by the government, in front of an audience of EU ambassadors. He also repeated his rejection of the recent proposal by the government that future trade deals should be discussed now.
“None of them give me any real satisfaction. So there are many questions that remain to be resolved.”
Meanwhile, Brexit secretary David Davis’ team is said to want legal clarification on the ‘payout’ which has been talked of since the beginning of the Brexit saga back in June 2016. Brussels repeatedly demands that the UK should pay a settlement as part of the exit process.
May visits Japan
Theresa May arrived at Japan on Wednesday for a three-day visit, which will see her have a series of meetings with prime minister Shinzo Abe, in order to discuss foreign relations, particularly the recent escalation of threats by North Korea. On Tuesday, North Korea fired a mid-range missile over Japanese territory, in one of the most provocative launches yet by the country. Kim Jong-un has also threatened to target the US Pacific territory of Guam with similar weaponry.
May has recently expressed her opinion that Beijing is the “key” to defusing tensions between Japan and North Korea, and urged China to more openly intervene.
Kezia Dugdale resigns as Scottish Labour party leader
In a surprise move, Kezia Dugdale has resigned as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, in what party members have called a “bolt out of the blue”.
Dugdale said the party needed a new leader who had “fresh energy, drive and a new mandate” and who had the “space and time” to prepare for the next Holyrood elections in 2021.
The move comes 2 days after Jeremy Corbyn finished his tour of Scotland, to gain support from Labour members around the country. The rallies, held across 18 Scottish constituencies, led many to believe that support for Corbyn was strong.
Dugdale strongly denied suggestions she had resigned to avoid conflicts with Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in Scotland, however members still claim the move was unexpected. This afternoon, Dugdale said in a published resignation letter that the death of her close friend was a reason for her standing down. Gordon Aikman, a Labour and Better Together activist and motor neuron disease campaigner, died in February aged 31.