'Keep calm and support Barnier': French minister denies Brexit negotiator sidelined
PARIS (Reuters) - France denied the European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was about to be sidelined by EU leaders in a bid to break the deadlock in trade talks, as reported by British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. Twisting a famous British war slogan, European affairs minister Clement Beaune tweeted on Saturday: 'Keep calm and support Michel Barnier'.
PARIS (Reuters) - France denied the European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was about to be sidelined by EU leaders in a bid to break the deadlock in trade talks, as reported by British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.
Twisting a famous British war slogan, European affairs minister Clement Beaune tweeted on Saturday: "Keep calm and support Michel Barnier".
"No doubt that British humour the Telegraph is accustomed to: Obviously, full support to Michel Barnier and his mandate! #fakenews," Beaune added in a second tweet linking to the Telegraph story.
The newspaper said on Friday Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, was to pave the way for heads of EU countries to intervene in the talks.
The chances of Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal have risen sharply as negotiations have been threatened by London's insistence that it have full autonomy over its state aid plans, negotiators and diplomats have said.
The United Kingdom formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but it remains in a transition phase under which EU rules still apply until Dec. 31, after which either a new trade regime comes into force or it will revert to rules set by the World Trade Organisation.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by David Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.