Trump presses border wall ahead of meeting with top Democrats

In this Dec. 7, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump speaks the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Trump presses border wall ahead of meeting with top Democrats

  • Trump praised his administration’s moves to block migrants at the US border with Mexico and said efforts to stop a caravan of migrants seeking to reach the United States were a success

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed to go around Congress and utilize the US military to build a wall along the US-Mexico border if he does not get funding, just hours before he is to meet with the top two Democratic lawmakers.
In a series of early-morning tweets, Trump praised his administration’s moves to block migrants at the US border with Mexico and said efforts to stop a caravan of migrants seeking to reach the United States were a success, and vowed that “the Wall will get built.”
The president has made funding for the border wall, a campaign promise, a central issue as Congress seeks to finalize spending before some federal government funding expires on Dec. 21.
Trump is scheduled to meet at the White House later Tuesday with US Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is seeking to become House Speaker when her party gains control of the chamber next month.
“If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall,” Trump said on Twitter ahead of the 11:30 a.m. EST (1630 GMT) meeting.
Trump deployed the US military to the border area before November congressional elections, calling the caravan an “invasion,” and critics decried the action as politically motivated. He has continued to press immigration issues in what could be a political standoff that could shutter the US government.
The president wants $5 billion this year to pay for the border wall in addition to other funds for separate border security measures. Democrats, who have fiercely opposed the wall, say they would back the $1.6 billion that Senate Republicans have sought for the fiscal year to pay for related technology.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but turned to Congress after Mexico refused.


EU leaders’ decision on Brexit delay unlikely this week: Juncker

Updated 15 min 16 sec ago
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EU leaders’ decision on Brexit delay unlikely this week: Juncker

  • The delay, nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, leaves the Brexit divorce uncertain

BERLIN: European Union leaders are unlikely to agree at a summit this week on a delay to Britain’s departure, and will probably have to meet again next week, the head of the bloc’s executive branch said Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit, currently scheduled for March 29, ahead of the EU summit starting Thursday. Details remain unclear, but May’s troubles deepened when the speaker of the House of Commons ruled earlier this week that she can’t keep asking lawmakers to vote on the same divorce deal they have already rejected twice.

Britain’s political chaos is causing increasing exasperation among EU leaders. Asked by Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio what May would need to secure a delay this week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker replied that “she must bring approval of the negotiated deal and she must bring clear ideas on timing.”

“My impression is ... that this week at the European Council there will be no decision, but that we will probably have to meet again next week, because Mrs. May doesn’t have agreement to anything, either in her Cabinet or in Parliament,” Juncker added.

“As long as we don’t know what Britain could say yes to, we can’t reach a decision.”

A delay to Britain’s withdrawal would require the approval of all 27 remaining EU countries. Juncker said that “in all probability” Britain won’t leave on March 29, but underlined the EU’s insistence that it will not reopen the painstakingly negotiated withdrawal agreement that British lawmakers have snubbed.

“There will be no renegotiations, no new negotiations and no additional assurances on top of the additional assurances we have already given,” he said.

“We will keep talking to the British. We are not in a state of war with Britain, we are in a state of negotiations, but the negotiations are concluded.”