Jon Stone, The Independent

Jon Stone

The Independent

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Recent articles by Jon:

Brexit: Late night talks in Brussels 'on brink of deal'

Boris Johnson and the EU appear to be on the brink of a new Brexit deal in Brussels, with last-ditch talks continuing late into the night to meet a Wednesday deadline. Speaking on Tuesday an optimistic Leo Varadkar even suggested that there might be no need for an Article 50 extension if an agreement could be sealed ahead of a make-or-break summit later this week. → Read More

EU to send Boris Johnson back to MPs empty-handed if he does not agree to deal by midnight

Boris Johnson will be left with nothing to take back to MPs on Saturday if he does not meet EU demands by midnight tonight, Michel Barnier has indicated. The EU's chief negotiator told EU27 ministers at a closed meeting on Tuesday that a new Brexit agreement needed to be place by the end of Tuesday for it to be considered at an EU summit later this week. → Read More

Brexit deal not possible before summit, EU leaders tell Boris Johnson

EU leaders have told Boris Johnson there is no way to strike a Brexit agreement before this week's summit, destroying his hopes of presenting a deal to parliament at a special sitting on Saturday. → Read More

UK refuses to join France, Germany and Netherlands in halting arms sales to Turkey

The British government has refused to join its allies in halting arms sales to Turkey over the country's military operation against Kurdish forces in Syria. EU foreign ministers unanimously agreed on Monday to "condemn" Turkey's military action, arguing that it "seriously undermines the stability and the security of the whole region" and was harming civilians. → Read More

Hungary: Blow for Orban as liberal opposition wins Budapest mayoral race

Viktor Orban has been hit with his biggest political setback in a decade, after his right-wing nationalist party lost control of the country's capital. Fidesz lost both the Budapest city council and mayoralty in elections on Sunday to Gergely Karácsony, a 44-year-old liberal who was backed by the main opposition parties. Mr Karácsony beat István Tarlós, an ally of Mr Orbán, → Read More

Spain jails separatist leaders for up to 13 years for 2017 Catalan independence bid

Spain has jailed nine Catalan separatist politicians over a failed 2017 declaration of independence for Catalonia. The country's supreme court on Monday sentenced the leaders to between nine and thirteen years in prison after finding them guilty of "sedition". Three other politicians were found guilty only of "disobedience" and not sentenced to prison. Supporters of → Read More

Brexit: Boris Johnson’s hard line on immigrants risks ‘retaliatory deportations’ for UK citizens in Europe

Botched announcements by Boris Johnson’s government are putting over a million British citizens living on the continent at the risk of “retaliatory deportations” and other consequences after Brexit, the prime minister has been warned. → Read More

Poland election: Voters give verdict on four years of right-wing populists

Voters in Poland will give their verdict on four years of populist government on Sunday, with the country’s ruling party expected to triumph again. The right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in 2015 promising a heady mixture of social conservatism and increased spending on the welfare state. → Read More

DUP vows to kill off Brexit deal if Boris Johnson keeps Northern Ireland in customs union

Unionists have vowed to kill off any Brexit deal which keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s customs union, amid fears that Boris Johnson is ready to make the province a “sacrificial lamb” to secure an agreement with Brussels. The prime minister refused to confirm that Northern Ireland would be leaving the customs union, in his first public comments after the EU agreed to → Read More

EU says Boris Johnson's Brexit plan 'still not workable or realistic' after hours of talks

The UK's proposals for the Irish border are still neither "workable" nor "realistic", the EU has said, following hours of last-ditch talks in Brussels on Friday aimed at striking a deal. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay had hoped to break months of deadlock at a breakfast meeting with his counterpart Michel Barnier in the EU capital. → Read More

Sylvie Goulard: Emmanuel Macron's pick for EU commissioner blocked by European Parliament

France's pick for EU commissioner has been blocked by MEPs, dealing a major blow to Emmanuel Macron's political ambitions in Brussels. Sylvie Goulard was rejected in a secret ballot by the European Parliament's internal market and industry committees by 82 votes to 29, with one abstention. → Read More

Nigel Farage and Brexit party vote against EU resolution to stop Russian election meddling

Brexit Party MEPs have been criticised for voting against a European Parliament resolution backing stronger EU action to counter election meddling and disinformation from Russia. The party's representatives, including Nigel Farage, rejected the proposal which called for "monitoring of the impact of foreign interference across Europe" and put forward a plans to "address the → Read More

Kurdish leaders appeal to EU for help as Turkey launches massive offensive against them in Syria

Kurdish leaders travelled to Brussels on Thursday to appeal for help from the European Union against Turkey's military offensive into northern Syria. Ilham Ehmed held a press conference in the European parliament, where she was flanked by supportive MEPs who urged the EU not to "abandon" the autonomous region. Turkish forces entered Syria on Wednesday, as jets overhead → Read More

Brexit: Boris Johnson to hold last-ditch talks with Leo Varadkar after EU publicly dismantles his plan point by point

Boris Johnson is to meet the Irish prime minister for last-ditch Brexit talks on Thursday, after the EU’s chief negotiator publicly dismantled his proposals in a comprehensive point-by-point rebuttal. With a make-or-break summit looming next week, high-level talks will also take place in Brussels between brexit secretary Steve Barclay and Michel Barnier – who warned on → Read More

Brexiteers 'are the real traitors', EU's Guy Verhofstadt says

The European Parliament's Brexit chief has branded Brexiteers "the real traitors", in a significant escalation of rhetoric from Brussels. Speaking in a debate in the EU's legislature Guy Verhofstadt accused Boris Johnson of blaming everyone but himself for the situation the UK found itself in. → Read More

EU Brexit negotiator tears apart Boris Johnson's plan point by point

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator has dismantled Boris Johnson's border proposals point-by-point in a comprehensive speech to the European Parliament. Michel Barnier said that "to put things very frankly ... we're not really in a position where we're able to find an agreement". → Read More

Brussels united in rejecting Boris Johnson's Brexit proposal, says EU commissioner

European Commissioners unanimously rejected UK Brexit proposals for the Northern Ireland border at a top-level meeting on Wednesday in Brussels. Commissioner Günther Oettinger told reporters that "all colleagues agreed with Barnier" at the gathering of the Commission's cabinet, officially known as the College of Commissioners. The firm rejection comes ahead of talks between → Read More

No-deal Brexit 'would lead to a collapse of the United Kingdom', EU president Jean-Claude Juncker says

A no-deal Brexit would lead to the "collapse" of the United Kingdom, the president of the European Commission has warned. Jean-Claude Juncker's intervention came as relations between Downing Street and Brussels hit a new low, following a row over hostile briefings emanating from No.10. In an interview with a French newspaper Mr Juncker reiterated Brussels' accusations that → Read More

Brexit: EU president accuses Boris Johnson of playing ‘stupid blame game’ and not wanting a deal

Brussels has accused Boris Johnson of starting a “stupid blame game” over Brexit, as talks to avert a no-deal teeter on the brink. A series of hostile briefings from Downing Street in the last 48 hours raised tempers in the EU capital by portraying officials as intransigent and suggesting that talks were dead in the water. → Read More

Boris Johnson's Brexit plan in tatters as Angela Merkel personally rejects it

Angela Merkel personally rejected Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals in a phone call between the two leaders on Tuesday, effectively burying the plan. The German chancellor stood solidly behind the EU's criticisms of the blueprint, which would see the reintroduction of customs checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. → Read More