More Brits now believe Brexit is a bad idea than a good one for the first time since the shock referendum result, according to a new poll by YouGov. Asked "in hindsight, was Britain right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?", the YouGov poll in The Times newspaper found that 45% said wrong (up two), while 43% said right (down three), meanwhile, 12% said they didn’t know. More Remainers than Brexiteers believed they’d made the right decision, with 89% of remain voters saying the result was the wrong decision, compared with 85% of leave voters who still backed exiting the EU.
Sampo Terho, a former member of the European Parliament and one of the top figures of the new populist and Eurosceptic party called Peerussuomalaiset (the True Finns), is pushing for Finland’s exit from the Eurozone, an outcome he considers inevitable. Terho kicked off his party leadership campaign on Friday, telling a press conference that it was hard for Finland to keep its exports competitive because of its euro membership. "The only way to sustain our competitiveness is internal devaluation, which we carried out," he said, referring to a hard-fought labor reform that sparked anti-government demonstrations and strikes in 2015. "The other option, if looking forward to the 2020s, 2030s and 2040s, is to return to our own currency ... When we take this long look, that option seems possible, even likely," Terho said.
A survey of 2,500 Swiss companies by UBS bank found 65% of chief executives believed there would be further withdrawals from the embattled union, after Britain became the first nation in EU history to rescind its membership. The poll underlined the importance that Swiss business leaders assign to relations with their biggest export market even as Britain's vote to leave the bloc undermines some EU cohesion. The survey released on Monday showed 65 percent of respondents want an institutional framework agreement with the EU, 27 percent favour keeping the existing bilateral accords, and 8 percent back scrapping the bilateral agreements.
The EU and Switzerland agreed on Thursday to reopen talks on upgrading trade and political ties, following Bern’s retreat last year on a controversial immigration quota that highlighted the difficulties Britain will face over Brexit. At a press conference in Brussels, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that both sides had agreed to conclude a new framework agreement by the end of the year.
Switzerland ranked 21th in the Tobacco Control Scale report, back from 18th in 2013. The report is published once every three years, the last one, which was referring to 2013, being made available in 2014. The 2016 Tobacco Control Scale was launched on March 23 at the 7th European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECToH). It presents the results of the development and implementation of tobacco control policies in 35 European countries, using a tool called Tobacco Control Policy Scale.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, including headscarves. "An internal rule of an undertaking [firm] which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination," the court said. The ECJ was ruling on a case dating to 2003 when Samira Achbita, a Muslim, was employed as a receptionist by G4S security services in Belgium. At the time, the company had an "unwritten rule" that employees should not wear any political, religious or philosophical symbols at work, the ECJ said.
The European Parliament has approved a landmark free trade deal with Canada. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) has been seven years in the making and its ratification is set to eliminate almost all trade tariffs between the European Union and Canada. EU lawmakers backed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) by 408-254 votes despite crowds of protesters contesting the deal outside. All 28 governments will need to give their approval to finalise the process of ratifying the agreement. “The ratification in all the member states will start, there will be a long process and in most countries without any problems, in some, with more discussions: "We will try to be there, we will try the effects of the Canadian agreement, try to calm some of the concerns,” said EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
The European Union agreed Tuesday on new rules allowing subscribers of online services, as Netflix or Amazon Prime, in one E.U. country access to them while traveling in another. The new “portability” ruling is the first step of regulation under a drive by the European Commission to introduce a single digital market in Europe. Announced in May 2015 on the cusp of the Cannes Film Festival, the proposed Digital Single Market was met with full-throated opposition from Europe’s movie and TV industry, which viewed it as a threat to its territory-by-territory licensing of movies and TV shows.
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