Politico – Sarah Anne Aarup / EU Commission outlines stance for post-Brexit negotiations on Gibraltar
- The European Commission released its proposal Tuesday to launch post-Brexit negotiations with the U.K. over Gibraltar, Britain’s overseas territory attached to the Spanish mainland.
- Just before the end of the Brexit transition period last year, Spain and the U.K. struck a preliminary, 11th-hour deal to avoid a hard border between Gibraltar and Spain by allowing the British territory to become part of the Schengen passport-free area with the sponsorship of Madrid.
- The Commission’s mandate includes proposals to “remove physical checks and controls on persons and goods at the land border between Spain and Gibraltar, while ensuring the integrity of the Schengen area and the Single Market,” according to the Commission.
- U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab swiftly rejected the Commission’s proposal, saying in a statement that it “directly conflicts” with the previously agreed framework and “seeks to undermine the UK’s sovereignty over Gibraltar, and cannot form a basis for negotiations.”
- Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / UK accuses EU of ‘seeking to undermine’ Gibraltar status
The New York Times – Jonathan Weisman and Sheryl Gay Stolberg / As virus resurges, G.O.P. lawmakers allow vaccine skepticism to flourish
- As the coronavirus surges in their states and districts, fanned by a more contagious variant exploiting paltry vaccination rates, many congressional Republicans have declined to push back against vaccine skeptics in their party who are sowing mistrust about the shots’ safety and effectiveness.
- On Tuesday, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican who said he had received his first Pfizer vaccine shot only on Sunday, blamed the hesitance on Mr. Biden and his criticism of Donald J. Trump’s vaccine drive last year.
- Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, a Senate candidate, warned on Twitter of “KGB-style” agents knocking on the doors of unvaccinated Americans — a reference to Mr. Biden’s door-to-door vaccine outreach campaign.
- “The way to avoid getting back into the hospital is to get vaccinated,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and a polio survivor, pleaded on Tuesday, one of the few members of his party to take a different approach.
- The Washington Post – Marianna Sotomayor, Jacqueline Alemany and Mike DeBonis / Growing number of Republicans urge vaccinations amid delta surge
The Atlantic – Marina Koren / Jeff Bezos knows who paid for him to go to space
- Jeff Bezos really flew to space. This morning, the richest person on Earth boarded a reusable rocket he dreamed up and funded, launched to the edge of space to experience a few minutes of weightlessness, and then came back down.
- Bezos made the trip with three people who decided they trusted him enough with their lives: his brother, Mark Bezos; Wally Funk, a storied aviator; and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old fresh out of high school.
- Before today, Bezos’s private space company, Blue Origin, had not flown its rocket with any people on board. By going first, Bezos wanted to prove that his vehicle is safe, and that Blue Origin is finally ready to make its 11-minute suborbital trips an experience people can buy.
- At a press conference after the launch, Bezos thanked Blue Origin’s engineers, and then added, “I also want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, ’cause you guys paid for all this.”
- Wired – Steven Levy / Jeff Bezos touches space aboard Blue Origin rocket
Foreign Policy – Edward Alden / Free trade is dead. Risky ‘managed trade’ is here.
- For three quarters of a century, the growth of world trade—which has spread prosperity to much of the planet, including hundreds of millions of people in the developing world—has been underpinned by a simple commandment: Thou shalt not discriminate.
- In the years after World War II, most nations agreed, for the first time in history, they would treat foreign-made goods the same from almost every country.
- The United States would, for example, charge the same tariff on a sweater imported from Italy as on one imported from Bangladesh and impose no additional discriminatory regulations.
- But the nondiscrimination principle is now under the most sustained assault it has ever faced. On issues from national security to labor rights to the environment, the world’s largest economies are deciding that nondiscrimination—the bedrock principle of free trade and globalization—must take a back seat to more pressing concerns.
- Bloomberg – Joe Mayes / Boris Johnson’s trucker troubles become a business nightmare
Today’s big read:
- Financial Times – Sam Fleming, Peggy Hollinger and Ben Hall / Semiconductors: Europe’s expensive plan to reach the top tier of chipmakers