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Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    That's the debate on new EU trade defence powers finished - the final vote on the revision will take place tomorrow.

    Lastly tonight, MEPs will debate a report from the international trade committee on EU trade policy.

    It calls on the EU to adapt its trade policy to account for the “gradual withdrawal on the trade front” of the United States.

    That's where we leave our live coverage for this evening.

    MEPs will be back tomorrow from 08.00 BST, when they will hear a speech from Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

  2. Background: New trade defence rules

    Debate on new EU tariff powers

    At the moment, the EU systematically uses the so-called ‘lesser duty rule’ to calculate extra tariffs on unfairly subsidised imported products.

    Under this convention, additional duties are routinely set at a lower level than the ‘dumping margin’ – the difference between the price of a product sold at home and abroad.

    The European Commission wants to waive this rule in certain cases, bringing the EU in line with other major economies such as China and the USA.

    MEPs are broadly in favour, and last month the required majority of EU governments agreed extra circumstances in which the rule can be waived.

  3. MEP: Update to trade defence powers 'way overdue'

    Debate on new EU tariff powers

    European Parliament


    Christofer Fjellner

    Swedish centre-right MEP Christofer Fjellner, who has been the European Parliament's negotiator on the legislation, says a final vote has been a long time coming.

    He points out that the legislation was initially put forward by the EU's former trade commissioner Karel De Gucht.

    It represents the "first big reform" of the EU's trade defence tools in 25 years and an update is "way, way overdue", he says.

    He calls for the European Commission to always bear in mind the "overall interest" of the EU economy when applying the new rules, and to never use if for "protectionism".

  4. MEPs debate revision of EU trade defence powers

    Chinese steel
    Image caption: Chinese steel has become a particular target for EU investigations

    MEPs are now debating proposals to revise the EU’s powers to put extra tariffs on imports that have been judged to have been unfairly subsidised.

    The rule change will broaden the circumstances in which the EU could put higher tariffs on such goods by not applying the so-called lesser duty rule.

    A deal on the revision was reached last December following years of stalled negotiations since it was first proposed back in 2013. It will be put to a final vote tomorrow.

    The required majority of EU countries are now in favour but the UK and Sweden both voted against it, whilst Ireland abstained.

  5. MEPs discuss report on victims' rights

    MEPs are now debating a report drafted by two committees into a 2012 EU law that seeks to establish minimum standards for protection for crime victims, also to be voted on tomorrow.

    It covers areas such as the right to make formal complaints, interpretation and translation rights, and access to victim support services.

    The European Commission has previously said some countries have not properly implemented the law and launched infringement actions against them.

    The committees’ report says only 23 EU states had properly put the law into effect, with a number of them “only partially compliant”.

    It also repeats a call MEPs for all EU countries to make stalking a specific criminal offence – at the moment, this is not the case in seven member states.

  6. Bulgaria and Romanian 'would make Schengen stronger' - MEP

    Debate on report on Schengen area

    European Parliament


    Bulgarian Liberal MEP Filiz Hyusmenova calls for Bulgaria and Romania to be allowed to join the Schengen zone.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has previously called on leaders to allow the two EU countries to be allowed to join.

    The Schengen area "would be stronger" if the two countries were part of it, she says.

  7. Danish MEP: Border controls should continue

    Debate on report on Schengen area

    European Parliament


    Anders Primdahl Vistisen, from the right-wing Danish People's Party, says states should continue to impose controls.

    The Schengen agreement has failed to stop the movement of terrorists and people in Europe have lost faith in the agreement, he says.

    The EU should not have abolished internal controls without first developing a "robust system" for controlling the external border, he adds.

    However French Socialist Sylvie Guillaume says some EU states have been "flouting the rules" by extending temporary border checks beyond the normal duration.

    Anders Primdahl Vistisen
  8. MEP: EU states turning Schengen into 'scapegoat'

    Debate on report on Schengen area

    European Parliament


    Carlos Coelho

    Centre-right Portuguese MEP Carlos Coelho, who drafted the report, accuses some EU states of making the Schengen agreement a "scapegoat" for wider problems.

    "Schengen has been blamed for things is has not caused", he says.

  9. MEPs debate report criticising Schengen border checks

    An armed French gendarme on the motorway between Paris and Brussels

    MEPs are now debating a report from the civil liberties committee on the functioning of the passport-free Schengen area, which will be voted on tomorrow.

    The report claims internal border checks established in the wake of the migration crisis have had “crippling” economic effects and undermined trust in the EU.

    It also takes the view that “many” of the extensions granted to member states enforcing checks are not in line with existing EU rules.

    It also criticises a proposed update of Schengen zone rules put forward by the EU Commission for allowing governments alone to determine risks to their security.

    The re-introduction of border controls, it says, should be “taken carefully in order not to inflict irreversible damage on the basic idea of free movement”.

  10. Commissioner: EU should support Libya elections

    Debate on EU support for elections in Libya

    European Parliament


    Federica Mogherini

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the EU should support the UN plan to have elections held in Libya.

    The country is in need of a "legitimate framework", as well as reconciliation and strong institutions, she says. Adopting a constitution before elections is "essential", she adds.

    The European Commission is working with Libyan authorities to unite security forces ahead of any poll, she tells MEPs.

    The EU sees "commitment" on working towards the respect for human rights, she says, but admits there is "a long way to go" in this area.

  11. MEPs debate report on EU support for Libya elections

    MEPs are now debating a non-binding motion drafted by the foreign affairs committee which calls on the EU to back efforts to hold elections in Libya by the end of this year.

    It comes following news earlier today that rival Libyan factions have agreed to hold elections in December. Under the agreement, electoral laws will be decided by September 16.

    The draft motion says the EU should provide technical support for the electoral process, with funding linked to election law that complies with international standards.

    At least 12 people were killed and several injured in an attack on the country's electoral commission headquarters by the Islamic State group earlier this month.

  12. National security reasoning for tariffs 'illegitimate' - Dutch MEP

    Debate on EU-US trade dispute

    European Parliament


    Dutch Liberal Marietje Schaake takes aim at President Trump's stated reason for imposing the tariffs - that of protecting national security.

    This explanation, she says, is "illegitimate".

    UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn says the EU cannot expect to "claim the high ground" over tariffs.

    The EU's customs union, he says, is "built on the ideology of barriers to trade".

  13. German MEP: EU should not 'beg' for exemption

    Debate on EU-US trade dispute

    European Parliament


    Helmut Scholz

    Left-wing German MEP Helmut Scholz says the EU should not "play along" with Trump's threat by "begging" for its own exemption from tariffs.

    President Trump's move breaks trade laws and the rules-based trading system "cannot be further hollowed out", he says.

    Czech conservative Evzen Tosenovsky urges the EU not to take immediate counter-measures if tariffs come into effect after Friday.

    It should focus instead on protected the EU market from steel from non-EU countries affected by the tariffs that is redirected, he says.

  14. Commissioner: 'Some sort of cap' on EU exports expected

    Debate on EU-US trade dispute

    European Parliament


    Cecilia Malmstrom

    Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom tells MEPs that the EU is concerned about unilateral trade measures taken by the US, which she says "undermine" the multilateral trading system.

    She tells MEPs that even if the US does not decide to follow through with current measures on Friday, she expects "some sort of cap" on EU exports.

    The question is whether this will be a "hard" US cap on total imports from Europe or a "soft" cap above which additional tariffs will be imposed, she says.

    The EU's future action will depend on the precise nature of the US measures, she says. The EU is "ready to launch" a settlement case at the World Trade Organisation, she adds.

    The best outcome would be for no additional tariffs or caps, she says, but adds: "realistically I don't think we can hope for that".

  15. MEPs to hear update on EU-US trade dispute

    Steel collies from a German steel manufacturer

    MEPs have now been joined by EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom to debate the EU's continuing trade dispute with the United States.

    President Trump is due to decide by the end of this week whether to follow through on his threat to slap new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe.

    The EU has so far won a series of temporary reprieves from the new tariffs but has prepared counter-measures in case tariffs are imposed.

    The retaliatory tariffs on US goods could include higher import duties on bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries, orange juice, steel, and industrial products.

  16. MEP condemns 'brutal' action against protesters

    Debate on crisis in Nicaragua

    European Parliament


    Charles Tannock

    Conservative MEP Charles Tannock says the protests in Nicaragua has become a "vicious cycle" of "brutal" crackdowns fueling even more anti-government sentiment.

    However he says he welcomes the government's decision to allow an inter-American human rights commission to visit the country.

    Police should show restraint, he adds - but notes that "does not seem to be the case recently".

    Estonian centre-right MEP Tunne Kelam calls for an independent international investigation into the violence.

  17. EU 'ready to step up' in Nicaragua - Commissioner

    Debate on crisis in Nicaragua

    European Parliament


    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides says the EU has already condemned violence in Nicaragua and that the police should act with "maximum restraint".

    However he also says that protesters perpetrating violence should also be "brought to justice".

    The EU is "engaged" in Nicaragua and is a "parter" for mediation.

    The bloc is ready to "step up" its engagement in the country if called upon to broker talks, he says.

  18. MEPs debate crisis in Nicaragua

    Police in Nicaragua

    MEPs are now debating violence during protests in the Central American nation of Nicaragua.

    The country has been embroiled in political unrest for more than a month, during which more than 70 people have died.

    Protests over social welfare cuts have evolved into violent clashes involving thousands of people.

    Nicaragua's congress has set up a commission to look into the deaths of the protesters, mostly students, who died during recent violent demonstrations.

  19. Why is the US Embassy move so controversial?

    Jerusalem's Old City

    The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally and, according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

    Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. It effectively annexed the sector, though this was not recognised by any countries until Mr Trump's declaration last December.

    Various countries once had embassies based in Jerusalem but many moved after Israel passed a law in 1980 formally making Jerusalem its capital.

  20. Commissioner calls for 'independent' investigation

    Debate on violence at Israel-Gaza border

    European Parliament


    Johannes Hahn

    EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn says Israel has the right to defend its borders but that that the use of force must be proportionate.

    He adds that the EU's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has already called on Israel to avoid the use of live fire against unarmed protesters unless there is a threat to life.

    He says there should be an "independent and transparent" investigation into events at the border. Protests should be peaceful and not "exploited for other means", he adds.

    The status of Jerusalem "can only be resolved in negotiations", he says - adding that this EU position has been communicated to the United States.