London, Dec 4(AP/UNB) — A top official at the European Union's highest court advised Tuesday that Britain can unilaterally change its mind about leaving the European Union, boosting hopes among to pro-EU campaigners in the U.K. that Brexit can be stopped.
Prime Minister Theresa May's government insists it will never reverse the decision to leave, but May faces a tough battle to win backing in Parliament before lawmakers vote next week on whether to accept or reject the divorce agreement negotiated with the bloc. Defeat would leave the U.K. facing a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit and could topple the prime minister, her government, or both.
Advocate General Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona told the European Court of Justice that a decision by the British government to change its mind about invoking the countdown to departure would be legally valid. The advice of the advocate general is often, but not always, followed by the full court.
The court is assessing the issue under an accelerated procedure, since Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29. The final verdict is expected within weeks.
Britain voted in 2016 to leave the 28-nation bloc, and invoked Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty in March 2017, triggering a two-year exit process. Article 50 is scant on details — largely because the idea of any country leaving the bloc was considered unlikely — so a group of Scottish legislators asked the courts to rule on whether the U.K. can pull out of the withdrawal procedure on its own.
The EU's governing Commission and Council oppose unilateral revocation, arguing it requires unanimous agreement of the 27 remaining members of the bloc.
The court's advocate general said that Article 50 "allows the unilateral revocation of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU."
The advice bolstered anti-Brexit campaigners, who hope the decision to leave can be reversed.
"That puts the decision about our future back into the hands of our own elected representatives — where it belongs," said Jo Maugham, a British lawyer who helped bring the case.
May has repeatedly said the government will not seek to delay or reverse Brexit.
But the court's opinion is another headache for the Conservative prime minister as she battles to win Parliament's backing for the divorce deal she has agreed with the EU.
May was due to open five days of debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, arguing that members of Parliament must back the agreement to deliver on the voters' decision to leave the EU and "create a new role for our country in the world."
But her chances of winning majority backing for the deal when Parliament votes on Dec. 11 look slim.
Politicians on both sides of Britain's EU membership debate oppose the agreement that May struck with the bloc — pro-Brexit ones because it keeps Britain bound closely to the EU, and pro-EU politicians because it erects barriers between the U.K. and its biggest trading partner.
"The numbers in the Houses of Parliament look pretty formidable for Theresa May," said Alan Wager, a research associate at the U.K. at the Changing Europe think tank. "Over 100 Conservative MPs have said they are not going to back the deal, the Labour Party have said they are not going to back the deal. So it looks like the deal won't pass next week."
Leaving the EU without a deal would end more than 40 years of free trade and disrupt the flow of goods and services between Britain and the EU. The Bank of England warned last week that a no-deal Brexit could plunge Britain into a severe recession, with the economy shrinking by 8 percent in the months after March 29.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Tuesday that British consumers could see their weekly supermarket bills up by 10 percent in a worst-case Brexit scenario that involves a 25 percent fall in the value of the pound.
Before the debate, May's government faced another showdown with lawmakers over the legal advice about the Brexit deal. Lawmakers were set to vote on a motion finding the government in contempt of Parliament for refusing to publish the full guidance from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
Cox could be suspended from Parliament if he is found in contempt.
Dhaka, Dec 4 (UNB)-A leading digital services provider of the country, Robi, observed ‘Safety Week’ last week aiming to raise awareness and ensure safe working environment for people.
Robi’s Chief Financial Officer, Roni Tohme inaugurated the safety week on November 25 with a slogan “Know Safety, No Pain”. The campaign covered all Robi premises including the Corporate Office, all regional offices and all the customer cares.
The themes of the week were: workplace safety, road safety, fire safety and earthquake safety. Each of the first four days of the safety week was observed on a specific theme.
Robi’s Head of Human Resources Md Faisal Imtiaz Khan, graced the closing ceremony on the fifth day. He handed over prizes to the lucky winners of the competitions that took place throughout the week.
Vice President, Facilities and Services, Mohammad Sultan Mahmud was also present in the occasion.
Dhaka, Dec 04, (UNB) - A three-day-long International Flower Exhibition and Conference 2018 will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city from December 6 to 8.
“The main aim of this event is to attract investors and businessmen to this sector as it is being flourished,” Abul Kasem Khan, president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) said at a press conference at its office on Tuesday.
He said the country's flower market has reached US$ 144 million from US$ 96 million in recent time. “We would like to engage the government and other stakeholders to flourish the sector further.”
"Around 70 national and international SME's will exhibit and promote their products and services at the fair,” he added.
International Trade Center (ITC) in its study showed global exports over the last few years have grown by more than 10 percent annually.
DCCI will organize the three-day event with the partnership of USAID and BFS.
Lee Rosner, USAID chief of party, Awar Faruque, former secretary of Agriculture Ministry, Abdur Rahim, president of Bangladesh Flower Society, among others, were present at the program.
Singapore, Dec 4 (AP/UNB) — Asian shares were mostly lower Tuesday as investors questioned if a 90-day truce in a tariffs battle will allow the U.S. and China to resolve a range of issues from technology development to trade.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 1.0 percent to 22,356.80 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.5 percent to 2,120.65. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.2 percent to 27,139.87 while the Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,655.96. Both Chinese indexes finished more than 2 percent higher on Monday. The S&P ASX/200 in Australia gave up 0.9 percent to 5,721.00. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but rose in Indonesia and the Philippines.
WALL STREET: A cease-fire in a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies lifted major U.S. indexes on Monday. The S&P 500 index jumped 1.1 percent to 2,790.37, after gaining close to 5 percent last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 1.1 percent higher at 25,826.43. The Nasdaq composite added 1.5 percent to 7,441.51. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 1 percent to 1,548.96.
U.S-CHINA TRUCE: On Saturday, a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping ended with a verbal agreement to hold off on further tariffs for at least 90 days. Trump was set to raise tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods, starting Jan. 1. In return, the White House said Xi will buy a "very substantial amount" of U.S. agricultural, energy and industrial products. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that the leaders had detailed conversations on 142 items and will need to turn those pointers into a "real agreement" in the coming months.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Markets are reflecting a fragile truce between the U.S. and China after an initial sigh of relief. Investors are taking some money off the table as they figure out the details of what the leaders have agreed to and how long the truce can last," said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Private Banking.
ENERGY: Oil prices are rallying ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday, where members are expected to cut output in 2019. News that the Canadian province of Alberta will cut production by 325,000 barrels a day also boosted sentiment. Benchmark U.S. crude gained 56 cents to $53.51 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It added $2.02 to settle at $52.95 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude rose 60 cents to $62.29 per barrel. It ticked up $2.23 to $61.69 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 113.30 yen from 113.63 yen late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1372 from $1.1353.
Dhaka, Dec 3 (UNB) – Additional Secretary of the Energy Division Md Ruhul Amin has joined state-owned Petrobangla as its new chairman.
He joined the office on November 29 following a government notification, said a Petrobangla press release.
Ruhul Amin replaced former chairman Abul Mansur Md Faizullah.
Ruhul Amin, a member of the BCS (admin) cadre of 7th batch, joined the government job on February 15, 1988.
During his long career, he served the government as deputy commissioner of Pirojpur and divisional commissioner of Chattogram division. He also served as the director (admin) of Petrobangla.
Besides, he served different ministries in various capacities.
A Dhaka University social science graduate, Ruhul Amin is now engaged in research work at Archeology Department of Jahangirnagar University as a part-time researcher for his doctorate degree, the release added.