Just days before scores of countries sign up to a landmark United Nations migration pact, a number of European Union nations have begun joining the list of those not willing to endorse the agreement. The 34-page UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is to be formally approved in Marrakech, Morocco, on December 10 and 11. The United States, under President Donald Trump, pulled out a year ago. Despite the pact’s non-binding nature, Bulgaria signalled this week that it will not sign the pact, as did Slovakia, whose Foreign Minister resigned in protest at his Government’s stance. Meanwhile, Belgium’s Government was teetering on the brink of collapse, riven by coalition differences over the pact. Other EU countries to turn their back on the document are Austria, Hungary and Poland.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she may give Parliament a greater role in implementing her controversial Brexit deal as she seeks to rescue the agreement from a widely expected defeat. May’s efforts to win support came as British newspapers reported that the House of Commons could reject her divorce deal with the European Union by more than 100 votes when they vote on it on Tuesday. Lawmakers opened a third day of debate on the agreement yesterday. May’s comments focused on the socalled backstop, which could keep the UK in a customs union with the EU if the two sides can’t agree on another way to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU. The proposal has sparked opposition from all sides because of concerns it would drive a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK while leaving the country tied to the EU indefinitely.
Robert Mueller was set to reveal more details about his Russia investigation today as he faces court deadlines in the cases of two men who worked closely with US President Donald Trump. The special counsel and federal prosecutors in New York will have to file separate memos in court detailing the co-operation of longtime Trump legal fixer Michael Cohen, who has admitted lying to Congress and orchestrating hush-money payments to protect Trump. And Mueller’s team will also be disclosing what they say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about when his plea deal fell apart last month. Cohen and Manafort are among five former Trump associates whom prosecutors have accused of lying either to federal investigators or to Congress.