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Prince Charles champions post-Brexit ties on German visit

Britain's Prince Charles on Sunday said bonds between his country and Germany would "remain strong" as he visited Berlin against a backdrop of increasingly tense Brexit talks.

Prince Charles champions post-Brexit ties on German visit
Prince Charles holds a speech at the Bundestag as he attends an official Remembrance Day commemoration in Berlin, on November 15, 2020. AXEL SCHMIDT / POOL / AFP

“We will always be friends, partners and associates,” the heir to the British throne said as he visited the German capital with his wife Camilla to mark National Memorial Day, an annual tribute to the victims of war.

“The fundamental bond between us will remain strong,” he said in a speech at the Bundestag lower house of parliament, describing Brexit as “a new chapter in our long history”.

Britain, which left the EU in January, is negotiating a trade deal to govern relations after December 31, when it stops abiding by EU rules.

Talks over the next few days are seen as crucial for any deal before time runs out at the end of the year, when the post-Brexit transition period ends.

In their first joint overseas visit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Charles and Camilla had earlier been welcomed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Berlin's Bellevue Palace.

Charles then laid a wreath in memory of victims of war and oppression at the Neue Wache memorial building alongside Steinmeier, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and other dignitaries.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender pay their respect during a wreath laying ceremony on national Memorial Day at the Neue Wache in Berlin, on November 15, 2020. Odd ANDERSEN / AFP / POOL

British royals have visited European countries several times since the country voted to leave the EU in 2016.

During a visit to Germany in 2017, Prince William said Germany and Britain “proudly share the same values” and their relationship would “continue despite Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union”.

Charles and Camilla last visited Germany, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, in May 2019.

Germany's National Day of Mourning was introduced in 1919 to commemorate the victims of the First World War.

READ ALSO:

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BREXIT

‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.

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