Welsh laverbread awarded EU protected food status

A traditional Welsh dish has been successful in applying for protected food status. Welsh laverbread has been awarded special designation under European law, meaning no other producer can use its name. The dish is made from cooked nori seaweed picked from the Welsh coast. It joins the likes of Anglesey sea salt, Pembrokeshire early potatoes and Welsh lamb which have already been granted the status. The status recognises foods which are produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using recognised expertise. There are currently 80 protected names in the…

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UK’s ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers resigns

The UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, has resigned. Sir Ivan, appointed to the job by David Cameron in 2013, had been expected to play a key role in Brexit talks expected to start within months. The government said Sir Ivan had quit early so a successor could be in place before negotiations start. Last month the BBC revealed he had privately told ministers a UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise, sparking criticism from some MPs. What has actually happened since Brexit? Brexit: All you…

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EU drops law to limit cancer-linked chemical in food after industry complaint

The European commission has dropped plans to legally limit a pervasive but naturally occurring chemical found in food, that is linked to cancer, just days after lobbying by industry, the Guardian has learned. Campaigners say that leaked documents revealing the legislative retreat show “undue influence” by the food industry over EU law-making and a “permanent scandal”, although the issue is complex. Acrylamide is a hazardous substance found in the browned and burned parts of common starchy foods that have been fried, roasted or oven-cooked at temperatures higher than 248C (478F)….

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Merkel calls EU summit a critical moment

– German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the European Union as being in a critical situation as EU ministers met Friday, without the United Kingdom, for a special summit. “We have to show with our actions that we can get better,” she said, noting a need for improvements in border security, the unified fight against terrorism and cooperation in defense and in job growth. Heads of state and foreign ministers of 27 countries met in Bratislava, Slovakia, with the prime topic the future of the EU after a vote by Britain…

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Slovenia: education union urges parliament not to sign EU free trade agreement with Canada

With the possible signing of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement looming, the Education, Science, and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia has warned the national parliamentarians of the negative impact of this agreement.   On 6 September, the Education, Science and Culture Trade Union of Slovenia (ESTUS), along with other trade unions, non-government organisations (NGOs), and consumer associations held a press conference where they presented their warning letter addressed to members of the national Parliament. The parliament will have the final say and vote on the official position of…

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Exclude Hungary from EU, says Luxembourg’s Asselborn

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has called for Hungary to be suspended or even expelled from the European Union because of its “massive violation” of EU fundamental values. He cited the Budapest government’s treatment of refugees, independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press. “Hungary is not far away from issuing orders to open fire on refugees,” he suggested. Hungary said Mr Asselborn “could not be taken seriously”. EU leaders meet in Slovakia on Friday to discuss the union’s future. Mr Asselborn’s interview with German daily Die Welt is…

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Could the Scottish Parliament stop the UK from leaving the EU?

To recap. The Prime Minister has resigned. The leader of the opposition is resisting pressure from senior colleagues to follow suit. And, lest we forget in this temporary focus upon party leadership, the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union after 43 years of membership. In these unprecedented circumstances, it is understandable that there is a degree of uncertainty in the immediate response to events. That disquiet includes Scotland where the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is seeking to draft a distinct reaction within the distinctive…

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Major and Blair say an EU exit could split the UK

Sir John Major and Tony Blair warned a vote to leave the EU will “jeopardise the unity” of the UK as they campaigned together in Northern Ireland. They suggested a Leave vote may re-open Scotland’s independence issue and put Northern Ireland’s “future at risk” by threatening its current stability. But Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said support for the peace process there was “rock solid”. She said it would be “highly irresponsible” to suggest otherwise. Northern Ireland first minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster said she found the intervention “rather…

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