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Home arrow newsitems arrow Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Автор ACM
mercredi, 15 novembre 2017

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
One of EU Parliament's most Experienced Members, from UK's Governing Party of Prime Minister Theresa May, and former Long-Time Foreign Policy spokesman of its Biggest Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, currently in the Conservative Group, Charles Tannock, who is also EU Rapporteur on relations with New Zealand, due to be Debated and Voted on Thursday, (etc), Speaking to "Eurofora", observed that "BREXIT" raises Delicate Questions on the British Bases located in Cyprus :


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 - "Well, the Problem with Cyprus, probably, is going to be a Different one" compared to the usual BREXIT general debates, he warned from the outset.


 - "It's going to be the (2) Sovereign (UK) Bases" there, "and the (EU) Customs Union", Tannock pointed out.


- "There May be a Problem", in this regard.


- "Because they (UK Bases in Cyprus) are in the Customs Union, and they May have to Leave the Customs Union".


=>-  "And, then, it has to be a kind of Border", f.ex. "for the Trade of Goods", "including some Agricultural" fields, etc. I.e., "they will have to be in Line with Northern Ireland'"s case, he found.


 - But, curiously, until now, "Nobody Speaks about this", Tannock regretted.   


- However, just "Look at the Facts : The Bases joined the (EU) Customs Union, when Cyprus became EU Member" on 2004, (and Not when the UK itself joined the EU, Back during the 1970ies), he reminded.


  - So that, "If we (UK) Leave" the EU, then "they will have to" opt about leaving (or staying) in  the Custom Union, ...

- "If they Stay in the Customs Union, - and then it goes into British Territory, like Northern Ireland  - they have to use the Same Currency". Since "It's in the (1960) Treaty (on Cyprus' Independence) : They have to use the Same Currency", he pointed out.


- "But, this is a Serious Issue, Legally", the UK Conservative MEP stressed.


=> - Because, "if the Sovereign (UK) Bases" in Cyprus "Stay in the EU's Customs Union of the EU, as British Territory, then, you have No Argument to say that Northern Ireland cannot do the same !", he Speculated, despite the Differences.


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+ Nevertheless, EU Chief Negotiator on BREXIT, former EU Commissioner and French Minister, Michel Barnier, had recently given an a priori Positive sign to "Eurofora", as far as the overal UK - Cyprus' Negotiations on BREXIT Issues specific to the Island were concerned, on the sidelines of the Latest EU Heads of State/Government's Summit, 20 October 2017 in Brussels, by simply Smiling and making a "Thumbs-Up" gesture, as a Fast-track but Characteristic Reply to our Question about -"How are the BREXIT Negotiations going in relation with Cyprus ?", in general.


It's true, however, that we had not then even mentioned, particularly, the special case of those UK Bases per se.


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++ Meanwhile, Tannock also Confirmed his Belief that, indeed, "the UK will Leave the EU on March 29", 2019, as scheduled, independently of anything else.


- There is No Chance to Stay in the EU : To be precise, the Probabilty is "Less than 5%", the Experienced, mainstream British MEP estimated, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question.


 + In a rare Agreement, between Different Political Orientations, Conservative MEP Tannock's estimation matched also that  of "Green" (former "Labour") British MEP Jean Lambert :

 

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- Speaking to "Eurofora", Later-on, the Pro-"Remain" MEP Lambert acknowledged : - "I Regret that, but I Agree" (with Tannock) :


- Indeed, "he's Right : There are No more than Only 5% of Chances for the UK to Stay inside the EU" after March 2019, she bitterly admitted.

 

 

(../...)

 

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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