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Archive for the tag “EU”

Brexit: EU’s mandate on negotiations shatters some Brexiteers dreams…

Today the European Commission (EC) of the European Union (EU) gave Michael Barnier a mandate to negotiate with the United Kingdom. As they are in the temporary state until the final break with the European Union, the transition period last until 31st December 2020. This means, this will last until 1st January 2021. That is the time table for this and the mandate giving today from the European Commission, which sets the standards for what to come.

The key things for me was these highlights, which really shows that the United Kingdom is really losing. There is nothing in the mandate, which gives the UK any edge. Only shows what the EU is considering important. While the UK will have to negotiate hard to get things better out of this. Especially considering they only have a taskforce within Downing Street Number 10. They don’t even have a unit fixing this anymore.

Just take a look!

ANNEX to COUNCIL DECISION authorising the opening of negotiations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for a new partnership agreement” (25.02.2020)

reflect the United Kingdom’s status as a non-Schengen third country, and that a nonmember of the Union, that is not subject to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member” (EU, 25.02.2020).

Free Trade Area:

The envisaged partnership should include appropriate rules of origin based on the standard preferential rules of origin of the Union and taking into account the Union’s interest” (EU, 25.02.2020).

Road transport:

As third country operators, United Kingdom road haulage operators should not be granted the same level of rights and benefits as those enjoyed by Union road haulage operators in respect of road freight transport operations from one Union Member State to another (“grand cabotage”) and road freight transport operations within the territory of one Union Member State (“cabotage”)” (EU, 25.02.2020).

Fisheries:

Besides the cooperation on conservation, management and regulation, the objective of the provisions on fisheries should be to uphold Union fishing activities. In particular, it should aim to avoid economic dislocation for Union fishermen that have been engaged in fishing activities in the United Kingdom waters” (EU, 25.02.2020).

Gibraltar:

Any agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom negotiated on the basis of these negotiating directives will not include Gibraltar” (EU, 25.02.2020).

First things first. The EU shows a sign, which the UK haven’t understood or neglect to understand. It is that it will not have the benefits of the EU nor the previous membership as a nonmember, even if the politicians and Tories have acted like that since day one.

Secondly, the EU will work in its own interest, even with their paradigm Free-Trading Area, also making the cargo trade on the roads harder for British exporters from United Kingdom into the European Union. While also, trying to ensure the EU fishing boats access to UK seas. This is all clearly hitting the demands, but also the promises made from the Tories in the UK. They are not shielding the fisheries, they are making it harder for the exporters. Because, they cannot get the access and the mobility, which it has today.

Third, the EU has no concern about Gibraltar. That is really stuffing the faces of London, as they have promised Gibraltar safety and a secure future. However, this is the EU showing a shift in focus on this and putting a hard stance. As this has to be negotiated separately, by this mandates concern. This is surely done to please the Spanish in the EU.

However, what we are seeing, that the mandate isn’t that friendly, the direct approach sets the stakes and also doesn’t give way. As the EU needs to set the foot down and show there is a difference being on the outside, then being inside. Which is the wish of the UK. That is why it got to cost to become a nonmember. Peace.

Brexit: Sajid Javid MP resignation letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (13.02.2020)

Brexit: Geoffrey Cox MP letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson (13.02.2020)

Brexit: The negotiations that Boris doesn’t seem prepared for…

The Tories think they can easily access the European Common Market without being a member of the European Union. However, today’s revelation in the draft negotiations paper from Michael Barnier proves that hassle the Boris Johnson government have to deal with. The Brexiteers will struggle with it.

Just like one key sentiment, which the UK have to understand:

reflect the United Kingdom’s status as a non-Schengen third country, and that a non-member of the Union, that is not subject to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member” (Barnier, 03.02.2020).

This here is very revealing and sets the tone. This puts the United Kingdom on the outside, as entity on its own, but still will not have the same rights the members of Union. Neither the same obligations and therefore, will be treated differently. That is key aspect, which the UK doesn’t seem to understand.

Boris Johnson statement in return:

The Government wishes to see a future relationship based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals for the benefit of all our peoples. There is complete certainty that at the end of 2020 the process of transition to that relationship will be complete and that the UK will have recovered in full its economic and political independence. The Government remains committed in all circumstances to securing all those benefits for the whole of the UK and to strengthening our Union” (Boris Johnson, 03.02.2020).

This here negotiations will not be easy. The documents from Barnier in his drafts proves the technicalities, even as the British has appointed a Task Force instead of Department working inside the Office of the Prime Minister. Because, that will run so well. Not like all the Secretaries of the Exiting the EU did a good job, but they would have civil servants dwelling on and configuring the fine details. Which the answer of PM Johnson is a kids story compared to the paperwork of Barnier.

Like Barnier said:

The envisaged partnership should establish open market access for bilateral road freight transport, including unladen journeys, made in conjunction with these operations:

by Union road haulage operators from the territory of the Union to the territory of the United Kingdom, and vice versa;

by United Kingdom road haulage operators to the territory of the Union, and vice versa.

As third country operators, United Kingdom road haulage operators should not be granted the same rights and benefits as those enjoyed by Union road haulage operators in respect of road freight transport operations from one Union Member State to another (“grand cabotage”) and road freight transport operations within the territory of one Union Member State (“cabotage”)” (Barnier, 03.02.2020)

Then Johnson said:

Road Transport

There should be reciprocal commitments to allow EU and UK road transport operators to provide services to, from and through each other’s territories, with associated rights, underpinned by relevant international agreements and commitments, and ensuring the necessary cooperation on monitoring and enforcement” (Boris Johnson, 03.02.2020).

Here is a typical statement towards each other. They have sort of the same pattern, but the leafy British statement, compared to the detailed EU ones. Show the work behind it and the details are expressing the needs of the EU to show difference between members and nots. The UK is a not and therefore, cannot do the same as they have done now. They got to follow more strict rules, even as they are allowed to cross the borders, but more rigorous than in the past.

These negotiations will be interesting to follow, as the UK and EU is in a stalemate, in a limbo, which is supposed to last a year. Before the final ending of the marriage is over. The Bride and Groom leaves each other and become Exes. Who knows how this will go, but the EU seems more prepared, than the UK is at the moment. Because, the statement from Boris wasn’t reassuring. When you looking into the work of EU at the moment. Peace.

Brexit: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MP letter to Europe (31.01.2020)

EU: Pact of Free Cities (16.12.2019)

Opinion: Jajja recites the same old story to the EU ahead of 2021

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Edmund Burke

We have seen this movie before, we have seen the pledges and the promises. The Electoral Commission, the lack of electoral reform or even the lack of level playing field is a own going saga that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni continues to sing.

What we can expect that Museveni wins the 2021. If he doesn’t win, than there is something wrong with the world order, the mountains of Rwenzori will fall down and Lake Victoria will not have water. We just know that NRM and Museveni will win as long as he breathes. Mr. 1986 will not loose an election. The EU can play around, but Museveni believes his justified to rule and everyone is supposed to listen to him.

Therefore, the continued promises and pledges of free and fair elections is pointless. The ballots, he charade and the whole campaigning is the same story. The majority, the securing the MPs and the Parliament is in the cards, as well as making it impossible for an viable opposition candidate to actually win. That because the deck is stacked against anyone before the posters, before the parties are organized and the slogans are prepared. It is all a buffet ready for the Fountain of Honour.

Just look through a brief history. A very brief history.

Elections 2011:

In February, the European Union envoy to Uganda said the country was behind schedule to ensure free and fair elections in 2011, while the US Congress directed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January to “closely monitor preparations” for the poll. “We know what we are doing. If there is anything that needs to be done. If there is anybody who knows how it should be done, it is us, not anybody else,” Museveni said” (Capital FM Kenya – ‘Museveni against poll observers’ 12.04.2010).

The head of EU Democratisation and Elections Unit, Ms Malgorzata Wasilewska told Speaker of Parliament Edward Ssekandi that implementation of the recommendations of the 2006 observers report must be used as a guide to ensure free and fair elections. The EU team was meeting the Speaker in his office at parliament to discuss issues related to the 2011 general elections” (Yasiin Mugerwa – ‘Uganda: European Union Observers Warn On 2011 Elections’ 09.11.2010).

Elections 2016:

The incumbent and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni has assured the European Union (EU) election monitoring team in Uganda that the forthcoming national elections will be free, fair and will be conducted without any form of violence. The President met the European Union election monitoring team led by their team leader and chief observer Mr. Eduard Kukan who called on him at his country home in Rwakitura in Kiruhuura district. The delegation was accompanied by the European Union head of delegation in Uganda Mr. Kristian Schmidt” (Daily Monitor – ‘Museveni assures EU observers free and fair elections’ 17.01.2016).

Elections 2021:

President Museveni said Saturday that government government is committed to ensuring free and fair elections ahead of 2021. According to him, relevant government organs are handling the necessary reforms are needed ahead of the elections. “On the political situation in the country ahead of 2021 elections, the government is committed to ensuring free and fair elections. Relevant government organs are handling the necessary reforms are needed ahead of the elections,” Mr Museveni tweeted on Saturday after meeting with the European Union delegation in Uganda led by the EU Ambassador to Uganda Attilio Pacific” (Daily Monitor – ‘Government committed to ensuring free and fair elections in 2021, says Museveni’ 16.11.2019).

What is very special about this, that the rebel who went into the bush because of supposed alleged election rigging 1980 elections. Has ever since done the same thing for himself and his cronies. The President knows his made his bed in 1996, 2000 (referendum), 2001, 2005 (referendum), 2006, 2011 and 2016. So, the man was elected five terms, but plan another 6th term, but has been ruling for another decade. Which means he has two more terms 1986-1991 and 1991-1996. These has to count, that is why it should be the President’s 8th Term.

However, we are seeing the same story. A story we have heard before, where the EU and other outside donors get promises and pledges. The EU and US get to hear what they want to hear. His telling them a sugar-coated tale of sweethearts and love. But the disaster and fear is in-coming.

The NRM and Museveni will use all tools at his disposal to get another term. To think otherwise is naive and stupid. The man will use ghosts, militias (LDUs/Crime Preventers) and the army to secure another term. The President has his appointed men in the Electoral Commission and the Judiciary, all ready to serve him. There is no middle ground or no outcome to say otherwise. Other than an upcoming, expensive charade and with a swearing-in ceremony filled with fellow dictators like last time. That is the what is at stake.

The EU can entertain this and accept the pledges. It is a new EU team, they might swallow it up and think its all good. But it isn’t and it will not be. There is no scruples in what Museveni will do to cling-on to power. Nothing. Use the Special Force Command, Flying Squad and the ISO to silence opposition, get activists behind bars in the DRC and so-on. There is nothing he will not do, if it matters the most.

His thrown and no-one, else than him is supposed to be their. Free and fair? Nah, more of the playing the facade and hope these white-men doesn’t catch the gig. Peace.

Opinion: A never ending story called the Northern Bypass…

This is becoming a never ending story. Where the state, all the various ministries, state owned organizations and whoever gotten the tender has been able to finish the project of 21 kilometres or 23 kilometres. Since on that one this project even differs.

What we do know is that this have been in the courts over battle over payment for land. It has been postponed and stopped, because the company doing the work has been shoddy. There been plenty of controversy and not all good news. That is why these kilometres has taken so long to build and still isn’t finished.

It is really amazing how this continues and it seems that this will be prolonged even longer. Because, we know what season its getting into. Election season and then all sorts of budgets and campaigns whacks out everything else. Even if this one is now scheduled to be done by 2021. But we know how flexible the end-dates are. So don’t be confused if it is still unfinished in 2023 or 2025. Because this project that was launched in 2004 seems to be alive and kicking a little bit longer.

New Vision 2008:

THE public is still awaiting the opening of the 21km Kampala Northern Bypass. The project was launched on May 20, 2004 and was to last 30 months, ending on November 19, 2006. It was later extended by 10 months to September 2007. This was later to change to March this year, which deadline was also not met. This delay is causing public concern. Apart from reports of extortion by the guards who allow motorists to use the road illegally, accidents are beginning to happen” (Chris Kiwawulo – ‘Will the Northern Bypass ever be completed?’ 25.04.2008).

JICA Report in 2010:

The recent cooperation of the EU for the GKMA urban road sector is as follows:

Kampala Northern Bypass: €47.5 million, Construction of 21 km bypass to relieve congestion in Kampala City (completed and opened to the public in October 2009).

Technical Assistance to RAFU/UNRA: €2.0 million (on-going)” (JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA) – ‘THE STUDY ON GREATER KAMPALA ROAD NETWORK AND TRANSPORT IMPROVEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA –

FINAL REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – NOVEMBER 2010).

CSBAG Paper 2018:

For example,the works on Kampala Northern Bypass registered a cumulative progress by end of June 2017 of 46.7% against the programmed 97.95%. The elapsed time was 98.81% based on the Original Program of Works. The major issues affecting progress is delayed site access, Design issues and Relocation of services” (…) “ Kampala Northern Bypass highlighted as a project to be concluded in FY 2018/19. This is not feasible as none of the six roundabouts which have sizable infrastructural and structural undertakings has been commenced on” (CSBAG – ‘CSO POSITION PAPER ON THE WORKS AND TRANSPORTSECTOR BUDGET FY2018/19’ 12.04.2018).

Article October 2019:

The upgrade of the Kampala Northern by pass into a four-lane high way started back in 2014 with the completion date set for November 2018. However, the date has been pushed to 2021 due to a couple of challenges hindering the project which include; changes on the original design and compensation of the affected people. Mr. Allan Ssempebwa, UNRA’s media manager last month said that the works stood at 60% and mentioned that the interchanges at Sentema and Namungoona will be handed over to the government by the end of this year” (Patrick Mulyungi – ‘Uganda to launch three new footbridges on Kampala Northern Bypass’ 02.10.2019).

So, we are seeing the stages of building is either not done or postponed. This is all done by various of reasons. The Kampala Northern Bypass are really a long prolonged project that seemingly seems never to end. Even the government own paper wondered about that 11 years ago and we have to wait another two years. But knowing how this ones goes. Don’t expect the state to follow its timeline.

What I wondering about, how proud is the European Union for supporting the project and the longevity of this. There should be questions from the ones who has funded it and why it takes so long. Since, they are accepting it and surely gotten the explanations. Because, we who follows haven’t really.

There are lame duck excuses with the land and the state paying the ones living there. Where the state has to pay for the hurt of building a road on private land. If they planned this and commenced this in 2004. By the time of 2019, the state should have been able to settle this and know the route of the road. However, they are showing lack of due diligence and putting the work in.

Because, the Northern Bypass should have been done by now. That isn’t rocket-science. This is made like this since people are eating of this project. Not like it should take this long to finish a 21/23 kilometres long tarmacked road around Kampala. But apparently it does. Peace.

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