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Britain to defy EU with ‘relatively trivial’ N.Ireland law




© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tractors drive past an exit sign and a road sign for Belfast on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, in Jonesborough, Northern Ireland, May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo


By Elizabeth Piper and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain will set out plans on Monday to override some of the post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, scrapping checks and challenging the role played by Brussels in a fresh clash with the European Union.

As Ireland warned of a “new low” from London and Brussels talked of damage to trust, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to plough ahead, saying the “relatively trivial” steps were needed to improve trade and simplify bureaucracy.

Tensions have been simmering for months after Britain accused the bloc of taking a heavy handed approach to the movement of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland – checks that were needed to keep an open border with EU-member Ireland.

Always the toughest part of the Brexit deal to crack, the situation in the region has sent alarm bells ringing in European capitals and Washington, and among business leaders.

It has also heightened political tensions, with pro-British communities saying their place in the United Kingdom is being eroded.

A power-sharing administration has broken down and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said it would only return to parliament if it is sure the bill will become law.

The new legislation comes as the UK faces its toughest economic conditions in decades, with inflation forecast to hit 10% and growth stalling. Johnson said any talk of a retaliatory trade war by Brussels would be a “gross, gross overreaction”.

“All we are trying to do is have some bureaucratic simplifications between Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” he told LBC Radio.


Britain has been threatening for months to rip up the protocol, an agreement that kept the region under EU rules and forced an effective customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to prevent a back door from opening up into the EU’s vast single market.

Under the legislation, London is expected to introduce a “green channel” for goods moving from Britain just to Northern Ireland, change the tax rules and end the role of the European Court of Justice as sole arbiter.

The bill, which will be presented to parliament by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, could take around a year to pass. It comes as Johnson seeks to recover from a large rebellion against his leadership by winning back the support of lawmakers, including those who want a tough stance against Brussels.

The legislation, like Brexit itself, has split legal and political opinion, with supporters of the UK’s divorce saying it does not go far enough and critics saying it undermines London’s standing in the world by challenging an international agreement.

Truss told European Commission vice-president, Maros Sefcovic, that London was still open to a “negotiated solution”. He said any unilateral action damaged trust.

Brussels believes any unilateral change may breach international law. It could launch legal action or eventually review the terms of the free trade deal it agreed with Britain.

EU officials have said that Britain will not be allowed to join its 95 billion euro Horizon Europe research programme until outstanding disputes, notably Northern Ireland, are resolved.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also said there will be no U.S.-UK trade deal if London scraps the protocol.


Oil Prices Fall amid Protests in China



Oil prices decline

Oil prices fell on Monday amid a general decline in investor appetite for risk amid information about the ongoing protests in China against vested restrictions.

The cost of January futures on Brent crude oil on London’s ICE Futures exchange was $81.31 per barrel on Monday, down $2.32 (2.77%) from the close of the previous session. At the close of trading on Friday, those contracts fell $1.71 per barrel to $83.63.

Oil prices decline – what’s going on in the market?

The price of WTI futures for January crude fell by $2.31 (3.03%) to $73.97 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). By closing of previous trades, the cost of these contracts decreased by $1.66 (2.1%) to $76.28 per barrel. Brent and WTI gained 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively, last week.

According to Bloomberg, protests were held in cities across the country, including the capital Beijing, as well as Shanghai, Xinjiang, and Wuhan, which was originally the epicenter of the COVID-19 spread.

That contributes to a stronger U.S. dollar, which reduces the attractiveness of investments in crude, and also raises the possibility of even more significant tightening of restrictions by Chinese authorities, the agency said.

“The outlook for the oil market remains unfavorable and the events of this weekend in China do not add to the positive,” notes Warren Patterson, who is in charge of commodities strategy at ING Groep NV in Singapore.

According to the forecast of analytical company Kpler, oil demand in China in the fourth quarter will decrease to 15.11 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to 15.82 million bpd a year earlier.

Earlier we reported that Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling.

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Oil Russia ban news: Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling



oil Russia ban

Will Russia sell oil to Europe? The administration of President Vladimir Putin is preparing an order prohibiting Russian companies and any trader from buying Russian oil to sell raw materials to countries and companies that have imposed a price ceiling on Moscow. Bloomberg news agency wrote this, citing a report from sources.

“The Kremlin is preparing a presidential decree banning Russian companies and any traders buying national oil from selling it to anyone who participates in the price ceiling,” the publication wrote.

According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, this would prohibit any mention of the price ceiling in contracts for Russian crude, as well as transferring it to countries that have joined the price ceiling for the natural resource.

In the first half of September, the press service of the US Treasury Department said that the USA, together with its allies from G7 (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France and Japan) and the European Union (EU) would impose a ban on marine transportation of Russian oil on December 5 and oil products – on February 5.

Earlier we reported that EU negotiations on limiting the prices of Russian oil reached a deadlock today.

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EU talks on restrictions on Russian crude oil prices today stalled



russian crude oil price today

Negotiations between the European Union countries about the “ceiling” of Russian crude oil prices today reached an impasse; Bloomberg reported, according to its sources.

Representatives of the bloc cannot reach an agreement on the ceiling price of Russian oil. According to the agency, the proposed European Commission limit of $65-70 per barrel, Poland and the Baltic countries believe “too generous,” while Greece and Malta, which is actively engaged in transporting fuel, do not want the limit to fall below $ 70. Recall that the Russian response to the oil price cap was negative. The Russian government has officially said that it will only sell oil at market prices.

“We are looking for ways to make this solution work and we are trying to find a common ground to implement it in a perfectly pragmatic and efficient way, while avoiding that it may cause excessive inconvenience to the European Union,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Earlier, we reported that the SEC fined Goldman Sachs $4 million for non-compliance with ESG fund principles.

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