The EU Heads for a ‘Big Bang’ Moment That Isn’t Brexit

Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg, 29.10.2017

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The European Union says it has plenty on its to-do list besides managing Brexit. That could prove to be good news for Prime Minister Theresa May as she seeks a smooth U.K. departure from the bloc in March 2019.

The European Parliament, which has veto power over any Brexit agreement, is gearing up for elections in mid-2019 as a slew of other big-ticket items starts to fill the EU agenda. These initiatives, meant to show the bloc’s vigor, will give lawmakers campaign talking points, shift the spotlight from the U.K.’s withdrawal and make it politically easier for the assembly to approve any deal on the terms of Brexit. [...]

Pro-EU Forces

“There’s an indirect link between any Brexit agreement and the upcoming EU Parliament elections,” said Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. “People will be looking at the atmosphere in 2019 to see whether the bloc of 27 member countries is progressing. If so, that would play into the hands of pro-European forces and mean any Brexit deal wouldn’t be viewed in isolation.” [...]

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