Brussels set to bless BA-American deal
Thursday 12 March 1998
Karel Van Miert, the EU Competition Commissioner, is expected to brief the Council of Ministers on the conditions he has laid down for allowing the deal to proceed at a meeting next Wednesday. The Commission is expected to give its formal approval at a meeting a week later on 23 March.
Clearance for the BA-AA tie-up will allow London and Washington to complete negotiations on an agreement to liberalise transatlantic air services, even though Brussels ruled yesterday that such bilateral deals contravene EU law.
The Commission sent a "reasoned opinion" to eight member states, including Britain, saying that the bilateral agreements infringed EU law. The member states have two months to respond, after which Neil Kinnock, the EU Transport Commissioner, is likely to take them to the European Court of Justice. The other member states are Germany, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Luxembourg.
Mr Kinnock has been seeking wider powers to negotiate EU-wide agreements with the US, arguing that the present bilateral deals give US carriers access to national markets in Europe without allowing European carriers equal access to the domestic American market.
A spokesman for the UK government last night rejected the EU's ruling, saying: "We are confident we are legally entitled to negotiate bilaterally with the US and we are continuing with those negotiations."
Although no formal talks have been held for almost a year now, informal discussions between officials have taken place in the US in the last few weeks.
Outlook, page 25
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...