The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been urged to provide clarity regarding how the UK intends to deal with its EU ‘divorce bill’ if it wants talks on trade to start this year.
In an interview in Copenhagen, Denmark’s foreign minister, Anders Samuelsen, said that “It would be very nice if we could get a clear message on where the British are,” reports Bloomberg.
He added that “The more concrete the message she gives, the better.”
Will the fog clear in Florence?
On Friday this week May is due to deliver in speech in Florence in which she plans to give an update on the negotiations. She is also expected to argue that the UK can still work closely with the EU even after leaving the bloc.
Last week the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, expressed disappointment at the UK’s position, saying the British government “seems to be backtracking” on commitments to honour its international obligations.
Recent policy documents published by May’s cabinet have done little to clarify the UK position, and Denmark is still trying to decipher what progress has been made – if any, Samuelsen said.
The right to vote in the UK
In a related story, an online petition has been started up to obtain voting rights for British citizens living abroad and give them dedicated MPs.
Many British citizens found themselves disenfranchised when it came to the Brexit referendum because they had been living outside the UK for more than 15 years. A new petition that runs until 13 March 2018 aims to persuade Parliament to provide a conduit so to allow British citizens abroad to be represented in the House of Commons.
The petitioners would like to see citizens being granted a lifetime vote, as well as the setting up of overseas constituencies with a dedicated MP for each constituency to better represent citizens living abroad.
As of today, however, the petition had only received 2,208 signatures. It needs 10,000 to get a response from Parliament and 100,000 to be considered for debate, so there is a long way to go.