Candidates to succeed Jean Claude Juncker as European Commission president gather before their debate at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. (From left) Jan Zahradil, Nico Cué, Ska Keller,  Margrethe Vestager, Frans Timmermans  and Manfred Weber. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

‘Tax haven’ claims raised as candidates make their case to succeed Jean Claude Juncker

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan: ‘The legitimate rights of Turkey and the Northern Cypriot Turks over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean are not open to argument. Our country is determined to defend its rights and those of Cypriot Turks.’ Photograph: Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout/Reuters

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is hoping for a second term. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty

Emily O’Reilly rejects argument that greater openness would jeopardise decision-making

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini:  said ministers had made it clear that the International Atomic Energy Agency was the only body that could legitimately verify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal. Photograph: EPA

Foreign ministers warn Mike Pompeo against escalating dispute

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: ‘Everybody has to be willing to compromise. The problem is that some of the UK side don’t seem to be willing to do that.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says central problem of Brexit is unwillingness of some in Britain to compromise

British politicians should not imagine that a change of prime minister will resolve the Brexit deadlock, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.  Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.

Tánaiste says British political system needs to come up with a way forward on EU exit

European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/File Photo/Reuters

Commission threatens to launch article 7 proceedings if Bucharest refuses to conform

Over the next seven years, 147,000km of fibre will be strung on existing Eir-owned poles, said Minister for Communications Richard Bruton in the Dáil. File photograph: Getty

Utility unsuitable for delivery of service as it ‘won’t work as quickly and could cost more’

Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel, Latvia’s Krisjanis Karins, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte at the EU summit in Sibiu, Romania. Photograph: Ludovic Marin

Focus also placed on EU top jobs as members look to take responsibility for union’s future

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Commission president talks about his record and EU future as leaders to meet in Romania

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom  arrive for the EC meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

European Commission predicts 3.4% rate in 2020

Sibiu’s message would be the legacy project for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Draft declaration for meeting eschews specifics for warm-sounding platitudes

Pedro Sánchez is likely to remain the only socialist leading a major European country. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: Spain is proof that centre-left parties can regain lost ground with a more radical approach

The Irish legal system is close to the bottom of several EU league tables of indicators of government commitment to the legal system.

Ireland’s courts and judges enjoy among highest levels of public confidence in Europe

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk give a press conference in Brussels after the Brexit deadline was extended until October 31st. File photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Brussels attempts to get on with everything else as there is little more it can do to end impasse

Italy’s deputy prime minister and leader of the far-right League party, Matteo Salvini:  scornful of the “buonista”. Photograph: Federico Bernini/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: Facebook ad protocol may choke transnational campaigns and debate

European Council president Donald Tusk speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Photograph: Jean-Francois Badias/AP

Verhofstadt tells European Parliament that article 50 extension puts ‘Europe at risk’

A pile of rubble inside Notre Dame Cathedral today after the devastating fire overnight. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

French prosecutors say blaze at popular landmark probably caused by accident

Council president Donald  at a news conference following the EU  leaders’ summit in  Brussels.  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The October extension is too short to do anything useful, but too long to tighten the screws on London

French president Emmanuel Macron  with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar after the special EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Tusk admits delay is ‘a little bit shorter than expected’ and tells UK ‘do not waste it’

Illustration of a European eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Europe Letter: Lough Erne’s fascinating eels highlight what is at stake in the UK’s exit

European Council president Donald Tusk, British prime minister Theresa May and German chancellor Angela Merkel talk at a meeting  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Leon Neal - Pool/Getty Images

Despite divisions and posturing, Europe remains united on the need to avoid a no-deal exit

UK prime minister Theresa May arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

Friday crash-out likely to be averted but EU is sceptical about prospects of breakthrough

Exporters will also not be required to register for approved status as the control of animal movements and health will be monitored through a special EU-wide database to which the UK will maintain access. Photograph: Getty Images

Movement of animals in Ireland will not be restricted on Border or subject to veterinary checks for nine months from UK departure

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel in discussion with European Council president Donald Tusk, ahead of the meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via Reuters

Change in article 50 deadline will be reviewed in June as Macron blocks longer delay

European Council president Donald Tusk and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: there are fears an extension will raise the risk of further short extensions and emergency summits. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP

Friday crash-out set to be averted but questions linger as to length and purpose of delay

British prime minister Theresa May with French president Emmanuel Macron ahead of Brexit talks  in Paris. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Donald Tusk says ‘little reason to believe’ PM can get deal ratified by end of June

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said the union had considerable experience in intervening in agri-food crises and stood ready to help out. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Farmers should ‘keep cows at home’ in immediate wake of a no-deal Brexit, Phil Hogan suggests

A woman walks past an art work depicting French president Emmanuel Macron and Britain’s prime minister Theresa May  on a wall in Paris. Photograph: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

PM tells EU leaders UK will act ‘in accordance with the duty of sincere co-operation’

European Council president Donald Tusk and UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Pool/EPA

Dublin favours longer extension but expects EU to impose conditions

 A pro-EU protester  outside  parliament in Westminster. It might  suit prime minister Theresa May if her talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were to go on  longer. Photograph:   Jack Taylor/Getty Images

They do not want it said they did not give the UK every chance, and that they ‘kicked the Brits out’

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier (right). File photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Summit to discuss ‘flextension’ allowing UK to leave when a deal is agreed

Commission officials briefing on no-deal planning for food and health product imports confirmed prohibitions on material crossing the Irish Border, including ham sandwiches, whether or not there are border posts and controls on it. Photograph: Getty Images

In a no-deal scenario taking shopping from Newry to Dundalk will be ‘smuggling’ – EU

What no one  is sure about is whether Theresa May is serious about making a significant compromise. There have been too many false dawns. Or whether Jeremy Corbyn really wants to facilitate her. Photograph: EPA

UK leader unlikely to make huge compromises needed for deal with Jeremy Corbyn

European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans: EU must strengthen its “toolbox for tackling the erosion in member states of the rule of law”.  Photograph: Francois Lenoir

Poland and Romania in focus as Timmermans outlines need to uphold legal ethics

 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker  delivers a speech next to EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier  during a debate on Brexit. Photograph: Getty Images

Juncker says if UK doesn’t adopt ‘stance’ by summit no short-term extension is possible

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (C), shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey  in the Houses of Parliament in London preparing for a meeting with prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

British ministers resign as EU comissioner says risk of a no-deal Brexit is increasing

Michel Barnier said it ‘would be the responsibility’ of the UK government to choose between leaving without an agreement or seeking an extension. Photograph: Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters

EU is working with Government to decide on where to apply checks, Brexit negotiator says

UK prime minister Theresa May: her deal seems to be, to all intents and purposes, dead. Photograph: Mark Duffy/AFP/Getty Images

Delay request from UK would necessitate a commitment to contest European elections

UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Commons could vote on withdrawal agreement without future relationship element

French president Emmanuel Macron, EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and German chancellor Angela Merkel greet  Xi Jinping at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Paris summit shows European leaders’ mercenary embrace of Beijing

A lorry passes a poster on Monday in Jonesborough by calling for “No Border” between the Republic and Northern Irelan. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Irish officials say UK cannot walk away from obligations on Border in any circumstances

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has refused to engage with suggestions that an EU task force could be set up to deal with the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Getty Images

Merkel notes difficulties of protecting the Belfast Agreement in a no-deal situation

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council president Donald Tusk and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Photograph: Yves Herman/File Photo/Reuters

Process was extremely political and so necessitated high-level input from the leaders

British prime minister Theresa May ahead of the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

EU leaders agree extension if MPs approve British prime minister’s Brexit deal next week

UK prime minister Theresa May is greeted by president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Any further application by Theresa May for Brexit delay will not be automatically granted

Leaders attend a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Aris Oikonomou/Pool via Reuters

Should Theresa May get her deal with the EU approved by House of Commons next week, the UK will get until May 22nd to leave bloc

Leaders at the summit will discuss the EU’s most important relationship of the next decade: China. Photograph:  Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Believe it or not, the two-day summit is not just about Brexit

UK prime minister Theresa May: ‘All MPs have been willing to say is what they do not want.’ Photograph:  Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool/EPA

PM points finger in TV address after Tusk rules out extension without MPs voting for deal

European Council president Donald Tusk  responded warmly to the letter British prime minister Theresa May sent him on Wednesday seeking an extension to article 50. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Donald Tusk says UK can have short ‘technical’ extension

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and European chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier during a  council on article 50 negotiations   at the European Commission in Brussels. Photograph:  Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Justification for an extension must be linked to a new event or a new political process, says Barnier

Tánaiste Simon Coveney at a meeting at the European Commission in Brussels. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Coveney says time should be used on 'new plan of action' or 'new approach'

House of Commons speaker John Bercow’s application of 1604 law  is “another instance of an internal Westminster issue that we cannot impact”. Photograph: Parliamentary Recording Unit/EPA

Application of ancient Westminster rule a ‘surprise’ which brings further uncertainty

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, with fellow MP Emma Little-Pengelly, after speaking to the media outside the Cabinet Office. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

DUP says talks with UK government are focusing on legal assurances and not cash

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: ‘We have to show some patience and give some space to the British prime minister.’ Photograph: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

Tánaiste hints May must signal she will reach out to opposition if she wants EU approval

European Council president Donald Tusk with British prime minister Theresa May at EU leaders summit in Brussels last November. File photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Reuters.

Tusk says article 50 extension would only get unanimous support if UK revisits Brexit red lines

A portrait of European Parliament president Antonio Tajani with the slogan “no more facism” on the desk of a Member of the European Parliament during a voting session in Strasbourg on Thursday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Antonio Tajani’s comments cause further embarrassment to European People’s Party

Carnival parade in the streets of Aalst: the raucous three-day Belgian carnival is  formally recognised by Unesco.  Photograph: Jonas Roossens/AFP/Getty

Europe Letter: Occasional acceptance of the obnoxious is price of satire and free speech

DUP leader Arlene Foster:  “I will be relaying the frustration amongst people . . . about a lack of devolution.  Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Foster to tell US administration that party is working towards a ‘sensible’ Brexit agreement

Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Strasbourg on Wednesday. “The negotiation on article 50 is over. We have a treaty. It is here,” he said. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

MPs will likely vote for an extension on Thursday – but the game has changed in Brussels

Poland’s finance minister Teresa Czerwinska and Czech Republic finance minister Alena Schillerova ahead of the Ecofin meeting. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Ecofin ministers agree to freeze measure, opposed by Ireland, pending OECD-level work

European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker was notably silent on a unilateral declaration by the UK announced as part of the latest Brexit package. Photograp: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images.

Unilateral declaration reprises British theory that Article 50 only a temporary measure

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker during a news conference in Strasbourg on Monday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Agreement reached after last-minute talks in Strasbourg before Commons vote on Tuesday

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker are pictured during a  news conference in Strasbourg on Monday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters.

Juncker says there will be no further chances on agreement and Varadkar approves latest offer

 President Emmanuel Macron of France.  He feels any UK extension would have to be conditional on a satisfactory explanation from May  as to what she will do with the extra time. Photograph: Reuters

There are different views about how long any conditional extension might be, with most countries favouring two to three months

British prime minister Theresa May   in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on Friday, where she urged the European Union to make the concessions needed to persuade MPs to vote for her Brexit deal next Tuesday. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

DUP’s Nigel Dodds says new Barnier offer on Brexit ‘neither realistic nor sensible’

European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier sent a series of messages on Twitter following a meeting with ambassadors from 27 EU states. File photograph: Reuters

Chief negotiator offers reassurances to UK about backstop exit mechanisms

 Tom Arnold: he launched  a joint EU-African Union paper on the African rural economy

Commissioner Phil Hogan says rural development is leading the way in EU-Africa political co-operation

EU commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager: a fearless champion of the European Commission’s competition directorate. Photograph: Piotr Nowak

Europe Letter: Derailed merger of Alstom and Siemens sparks call for policy change

British prime minister Theresa May is due to face a “meaningful vote” on Brexit early next week. Its fate is said to hinge on whether the UK attorney general can revise his legal assessment of the backstop

UK attorney general and Brexit secretary return to London after ‘difficult’ discussions with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay leads his team out of his office including Attorney general Geoffrey Cox (centre left) as they leave Downing St in London for Brussels. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Recent talks between UK Brexit secretary and EU chief negotiator fruitless and ‘difficult’

UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay (pictured) and attorney general Geoffrey Cox met the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and members of the Brexit taskforce on Tuesday. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images.

No sign of breakthrough as clock runs down to Theresa May’s ‘meaningful vote’ next week

Viktor Orban has become a stalking horse for Europe’s Eurosceptic populist forces. Photograph: Tamas Kaszas/Reuters

Hungarian PM is seen as having finally overstepped mark with billboard campaign attacking Brussels

Geoffrey Cox outside Downing Street. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Arbitration provisions a major focus of British attorney general’s diplomacy with EU

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán is a vocal supporter of anti-immigrant rhetoric in Europe. File photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Support builds for Fidesz’s expulsion from the European People’s Party

Central Bank governor Philip Lane was questioned on Tuesday in Brussels by the parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, which voted 33-6 in his favour.

Central Bank governor says ECB’s monetary strategy can cope with economic challenges

Cattle grazing in Co Galway. Changes to state aid rules means member states can move more quickly to help farmers in crisis. Photograph: Getty.

Maximum aid that can be distributed per farm over three years to rise to €25,000

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

A broad, unstated EU consensus sees Labour’s plans as the only pathway to a deal

 European Parliament: Due to Brexit, the seat allocation to Ireland rises from 11 to 13. Photograph: Vincent Kessler

Europe Letter: Fianna Fáil likely to be big winners in European poll in May

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

British PM and EU Commission president hold crunch meeting in Brussels on Brexit

UK prime minister Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/ Bloomberg

Statement reconfirmed their commitment to avoiding a hard border in Ireland

A protest at the   Kleine Brogel nuclear base in Belgium in 2006. Photograph:  Yorick Jansens/AFP/Getty Images)

Three MEPs among activists who broke into Kleine Brogel air base and unfurled banner

 The delegates with Tánaiste Simon Coveney. They paid a visit to President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin on Monday evening, and were then greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House

Talks included foreign ministers and others including League of Arab States’ secretary general

Eamon Gilmore’s appointment is expected to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers in the next few days. Photograph: Frank Miller

Ex-tánaiste’s appointment comes after Lane nominated for chief economist role with ECB

 Stephen Barclay: Britain’s Brexit secretary  will resume his discussions with EU officials in Brussels.  Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

British representatives’ focus on provision may cause a no-deal Brexit, EU officials fear

 Simon Coveney  and Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi during a European Foreign Affairs Council meeting, in Brussels on Monday. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Tánaiste says proposals would have to come from London rather than Brussels

 Simon Coveney is hosting a dinner on Monday and a meeting on Tuesday in Farmleigh. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

‘Confidential discussion’ seen as way to engage with Palestinians ahead of new US initiative

Ms de Souza insists that she has never been British, a status that she can therefore not reject. Above, Emma DeSouza and her husband, Jake. Photograph: Emma DeSouza

Emma de Souza’s court battle exposes what she sees as a flaw in Withdrawal Agreement

The legislation is designed to help artists, publishers and other creators to get fair payment for use of their content online. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Europe’s publishers hail compromise copyright legislation ‘fit for the digital age’

Simon Coveney: he has  argued against unilateral action by Ireland as both ineffective in bringing about change and likely to put Ireland out of step with its EU partners

Europe Letter: Bid to ban imports from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank has bumped up against diplomatic imperatives

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici presents the EU executive's economic forecasts during a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 7, 2019.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

EU commissioner says State among handful of countries blocking initiative

The European Commission has extended safety certification on the Channel Tunnel for three months from the end of March. Photograph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

European Commission preparedness planning sees safety certification extended for three months

German chancellor Angela Merkel and finance minister Olaf Scholz. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

European Commission desire to phase in qualified majority voting faces uphill battle

The UK Brexit secretary  Stephen Barclay and the chief European Union negotiator Michel Barnier met for dinner in Brussels on Monday night. File image: Andy Rain/EPA.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier and UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay to meet again in coming days

Philip Lane’s ECB appointment will mark the first time Ireland will be represented on the bank’s six-member executive board.

Governor of Central Bank to become chief economist

Britain’s Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay leaves 10 Downing Street in London. Mr Barclay is due to meet Michel Barnier on Monday. File photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

EU to remain resolute on the backstop as Conservatives extend olive branch to Corbyn

 EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Europe Letter: Latest bid to break backstop deadlock amounts to a storm in a teacup

European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels on Wednesday. He angered UK Brexiteers when he said he had been “wondering what that place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan for how to carry it out safely”. Photograph:  Yves Herman/Reuters

EU Council president is less inhibited than others in Brussels – and he wanted to send a message

European Council president Donald Tusk and Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar shake hands  after a meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters.

We will not gamble on peace or put a sell-by date on reconciliation says, Tusk

Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa Villiers arrive at the cabinet office in Westminster for a meeting of the Alternative Arrangements Working Group to examine the Malthouse compromise. Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/PA

PM persisting in backstop alternative quest while seeking to restore Stormont

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