Tuesday 22 May 2018

The Week Ahead: Week 37

Donald Tusk. Photo: Reuters
Donald Tusk. Photo: Reuters
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

The leaders of all EU countries bar the UK gather in Bratislava this week for an informal summit focused on the future of the European Union and required political reforms.

European Council President Donald Tusk has been on a tour of European capitals this week in preparation for the summit, which Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stressed will not specifically be about Brexit, as no discussions or negotiations can take place until after the UK has triggered Article 50.

Mr Tusk has said leaders will discuss how to breathe new life into the bloc after Britain leaves, but they will not discuss the divorce terms until London officially declares its will to quit.

Keeping the future of the EU and the negotiating strategy separate was a matter of principle, Mr Tusk has said.

Leaders are also expected to discuss migration and terrorism.

Also this week, the Bank of England is due to meet to set monetary policy in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The central bank is forecast to leave its key rate at a record low 0.25pc and the asset-purchase target at £435bn (€514bn).

The focus will be on its assessment of how the economy has performed since its last gathering in early August, when most officials saw scope for another rate cut this year.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is also due to give a "State of the Union" speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday. He may discuss the European Union's future without the UK and policies in areas such as security and the economy.

(Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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