UK divorce bill, Glyphosate, and the royal wedding (Tweets of the Week, Ep. 27)


This week, UK divorce bill makes Brexiteers wince, glyphosate renewal fails to convince, and actress Meghan Markle
gets to marry a prince. The big news this week is that the Brexit
divorce bill looks about to be settled. According to reports, the UK
offered a £45 billion settlement. Labour MP Chris Leslie was not impressed. “A bill of £1000 from every single person
in UK for what?! To put the world’s most efficient, tariff-free,
frictionless free trade agreement in the bin!” The BBC’s Nick Robinson wondered why
everyone was so slow on the uptake. “Ministers were told months ago that the
Brexit divorce bill would be 40 – 60 billion euros.” Boris Johnson said he hoped the offer would
guarantee “sufficient progress”. Berlaymonster thought the whole thing was comical. And in a similar vein, Techically Ron imagined
that David Davis’ apple buying skills would be somewhat lacking. But before everyone gets too excited, the
European Commission said, “Negotiations are ongoing. Nothing is
agreed until everything is agreed.” Meanwhile Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan
thought he had solved the Northern Ireland issue in a tweet that seriously backfired. He said, “The way to avoid a border in Ireland
is to have an overall UK-EU trade deal based on mutual recognition of standards.” To which Merkel parody account Queen Europe
replied, “Congratulations to Herr Hannan for inventing the European Single Market!” Former Finnish PM Alexander Stubb agreed. “For goodness sake Dan, it is called the
Internal Market! You have been a part of it since 1973!” Guy Verhofstadt said it was “mind-boggling”
that British Conservatives, who designed and helped create the single market wanted to
walk away, and now want to walk back in. Vote Goat said, “Weird he wants to swap
the status quo for the status quo.” Monday was decision day for glyphosate as
the Council voted to extend the license for the controversial herbicide for five years,
despite the European Parliament’s view and a ‘Stop Glyphosate’ petition signed
by more than 1.3 million Europeans. Farmers weekly said it was “A victory for
science over politics.” But MEP José Bové said it was business’s
victory over science, calling it a “scandal”. He added that the precautionary principle
had been trampled on. Fellow MEP Molly Scott Cato thought
it was “disastrous decision”. But in the end no one was really happy because
Monsanto had wanted a 15 year extension and had to settle for five. The biggest controversy was over Germany,
after Farm Minister Christian Schmidt voted in favour of the license despite having no
political mandate to do so. And a petition was launched to get him sacked. Florian Eder explained, “This is really
all about German, not European, politics.” And finally, Twitter went wild as Clarence
House announced the engagement of Prince Harry
to actress Meghan Markle. Martini Seltzermayr said, “Guess the strategic
marriage to Juncker’s daughter is off the table.” Lewis Crofts reported that there was no comment
yet from Donald Trump who probably thinks he was phoned by Prince Harry first but turned
down the proposal. Berlaymonster saw hope in the announcement
for ginger-haired monsters everywhere. Too right! Many Tweeters pointed out the wastefulness
of a lavish, expensive wedding. And Harry Leslie Smith said that when it comes
to the Royal wedding UK media is no better than North Korea’s reporting on Kim Jong Un. You might have a point there Harry. Desus and Mero reckon it should have been reported as actress Meghan Markle a redhead from the UK. And Mo Gilligan was just annoyed
he wouldn’t be getting a day off as it was announced there would be no bank holiday. Most people just thought it would be a bit
of a laugh. This week we are supported by Engie. Check out our interview with their CEO, Isabelle
Kocher about energy transition in Europe. I’m away next week, so join guest presenter
Jack Parrock and send him your suggestions on what to include in the good, bad,
and ugly of the EU Twittersphere using the hashtag #EUtweets. No really, send him your suggestions.

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