The Latest: Rights official: anti-migrant talk was 'scary'

AP News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2016 9:34 AM
The Latest: Rights official: anti-migrant talk was 'scary'

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain's vote to leave the European Union (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A top European human rights official has described the use of anti-migrant rhetoric by some British politicians ahead of the June 23 referendum on European Union membership as "out of control," warning it could make the use of racist language more acceptable across continent.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, said during a visit to Greece Friday that rhetoric used in Britain had been "very scary."

Migration was a central issue during the referendum campaign before British voters opted to the leave the EU.

Muiznieks said he was also worried about the language against migrants being used by politicians in Hungary ahead of an Oct. 2 referendum there on EU settlement quotas

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12:10 p.m.

The head of a leading global policy organization has cautioned European Union authorities against punishing Spain and Portugal for missing financial targets, saying it could fuel further discontent among the bloc's citizens following Britain's vote to leave.

The EU's executive Commission says Spain and Portugal failed to take effective action to cut their budget deficits over the last two years. Sanctions are being considered.

But Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, told a conference in Lisbon, Portugal on Friday, "The last thing you want at this time is to create divides among us."

He said Portugal had to act to ensure the stability of its banking system. The country's 2015 budget deficit was 4.4 percent — way above the 2.7 percent target — because the government provided 2.5 billion euros ($2.76 billion) to save Banco Internacional do Funchal SA.

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10:40 a.m.

A new newspaper in Britain is aimed at the 48 percent of the population who voted to remain in the European Union in last month's referendum.

The first edition of The New European went on sale Friday in London and several other cities.

Editor Matt Kelly says he hopes people will carry the paper as "a badge of honor." He says "we are trying in many ways to rather belatedly level the playing field in what is clearly an anti-EU mainstream press."

Several big British newspapers backed a "leave" vote in the referendum.

The referendum divided Britain, with London and major cities like Manchester — as well as Scotland — voting to remain, but a majority in England and Wales backing a British exit.

The weekly publication will initially be published for the next four Fridays. It will continue if there is enough support.

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10:30 a.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the remaining 27 members of the European Union need to agree on a common stance ahead of formal talks on Britain's exit from the bloc.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier says "we now need a process in which we determine the shared position of the 27" before an informal summit of EU leaders mid-September.

Speaking Friday after meeting with his Irish counterpart, Steinmeier cited the question of how to deal with Ireland and the United Kingdom's land border as one example of future issues to tackle.

Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan said his country "remains firmly at the heart of Europe" and 43 years of membership had contributed to its prosperity and progress.

Flanagan said freedom of movement was particularly important for people along both sides of the border.

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9:55 a.m.

Consumer confidence in Britain has taken a dive in the wake of the country's decision to leave the European Union.

In a one-off survey to gauge the impact of the referendum result, market research firm GfK says its core index of consumer confidence dropped by 8 points to minus 9 in July. The decline was the biggest in 21 years.

The survey also shows that sentiment has sunk among both those who voted to remain in the EU and those who voted to leave. The measure for so-called "remainers" was minus 13, while "leavers" were slightly more optimistic at minus 5.

The online survey of 2,002 respondents was conducted between June 30 and July 5. The referendum on June 23 saw 52 percent voting to leave the EU.