Imagine! Lennon brings no peace, but discord at EU summit

Poroshenko and European Council President Donald Tusk have discussed relations with the EU, as well as US sanctions related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and to Russia's illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Those who by then had less than five years residency would be allowed to build up to five years to obtain that status.

Since this month's election, many British voices have joined a debate on how or even if Brexit may happen; on Thursday, one European Union chief added that of John Lennon, sparking a round of more and less musical replies.

And even more curious, in every way, was the Prime Minister's statement to the Commons on the Queen's Speech, much of which was full of unimpeachable sentiments about making post-Brexit Britain into a kinder, fairer and more prosperous society; like many "nice Tories", in other words, Theresa May seems incapable of grasping that for the last forty years, the neoliberal ideology embraced by her party has been driving our society in precisely the opposite direction.

May said the talks had made a "very constructive start".

Merkel welcomed May's promises, but insisted that "there are, of course, many, many other issues".

"For me the shaping of the future of the 27 is a priority coming before the issue of the negotiations with Britain on the exit", she added.

The fate of an estimated three million Europeans now living in Britain and around one million Britons living elsewhere in the EU was thrown into doubt by Britain's vote to leave the bloc previous year.

In July 2016, the United Kingdom voted in a hotly contested referendum that exposed deep division across the country to leave the EU. The exit deadline is 30 March 2019.

Counter-terrorism has been a key issue at the summit which comes in the wake of an attack in Brussels on Tuesday.

"Within three months, Member States will agree a common list of criteria and commitments, together with concrete capability projects, in order to take this cooperation off the ground", Tusk said.

Both sides would like to get the issue of citizens' rights wrapped up as soon as possible - it would be good for morale to get an early win, and they have more hard issues to tackle.

The EU wants their citizens' rights after Brexit enforceable in their European court in Luxembourg.

Theresa May is set to make her offer over the status of expat citizens following Brexit to her European counterparts at the summit. The UK proposal suggests a date between March 2017 and March 2019 - although it is highly unlikely that the European Union would be willing to accept a date that has already passed.

He said "we are witnessing the return of the European Union rather as a solution, not a problem".

Further details are expected to be revealed in a paper to be published by the UK Government on Monday.

  • Leroy Wright