Tag Archives: backstop

Barnier proposes “legally binding” Brexit interpretation

The top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier offered to Theresa May’s government a “legally binding” interpretation of the Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement, the executive explained via his Twitter micro blog.

Barnier ensures the The EU will “continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement”.

The proposal includes  the EU commitment to give the UK the option to exit the “Single Customs Territory unilaterally”, on the condition the other elements of the backstopmust be maintained to avoid a hard border“.

UK will not be forced into customs union against its will“, Barnier ensures.

The arbitration panel can already, under Article 178 of Withdrawal Agreement, “give UK the right to a proportionate suspension of its obligations under the backstop, as a last resort, if EU breaches its best endeavours/good faith obligations to negotiate alternative solutions”, the EU top negotiator explains. (Image: illustration).

 

Tannock MEP on Brexit: who blinks first?

Charles TANNOCK (UK, ECR) shares his views on a possibility of no-deal Brexit, underlining that the EU27 top negotiator Michel Barnier has no mandate to re-open the endorsed Article 50 deal. MEP also explains the need to keep the ‘backstop‘ as a part of the UK-EU deal, guaranteeing avoidance of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Tannock privileges a ‘softBrexit scenario, preserving economic benefits though a transition period, allowing economies to adjust to new realities. (From European Parliament Plenary, Strasbourg)

 

Johnson: backstop needs timetable

The United Kingdom needs to formalise changes to Brexit deal’s Irish border backstop such as a time limit and an exit mechanism, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

Some of the ideas that the prime minister has mentioned in the House do seem sensible,” Johnson, told BBC radio. “I think you would need a time limit.”

I think I would want to look very carefully at what was being proposed and it would have to give the United Kingdom a UK-sized exit from the backstop,” he said.

The most promising way forward is to do what is called the Malthouse compromise. The exciting thing about this is that it actually has the support of colleagues on both sides.” he added.

May attempts to save Brexit deal

The European Union promised to cooperate with the British Prime minister Theresa May on “whether a way through can be found” to avoid the disruption of a no-deal Brexit after her visit to Brussels on Feburary, 7. However the EU Council president Donald Tusk admitted that there is “no break-through in sight“. The note about it was made in his Twitter micro blog.

Meanwhile the European Parliament speaker Antonio Tajani warned that ‘no-deal’ will be a “catastrophe“.

Theresa May ensured her government will deliver Brexit on time”, and she will continue to negotiate with the EU in coming days.

The EU promised more talks on Brexit issue to avoid no-deal scenario, but there are no signs for readiness to re-negotiate the deal, endorsed by the EU Council the end last year.

May to travel to Brussels for Irish border solution

Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Brussels on February 7 to inform the European Union leaders they must accept legally binding changes to the Irish border arrangements of the Article 50 deal or face the prospect of a disorderly no-deal Brexit.

The EU denies re-negotiation of the deal, or introduction of any changes. The 27 bloc chief negotiator Michel Barnier repeating this position on multiple occasions.

AMENDED 6/02/2019

EU Council president Donald Tusk expressed hope of breaking the deadlock over Irish border, however there he did not indicated a possibility for the bloc to adjust its position to the UK demands.

President Tusk did not consider necessary to show the slightest respect to British democracy, sending to hell all those, who “promotedBrexit, in reality meaning  scornful of the direct democracy. He did not bother to mention that it was the EU27 who turned the UK departure into ordeal. Rephrasing his Tweet, undoubtedly there is a place in hell for people like Mr.Tusk himself who do not respect the people’s vote. Mr.Tusk is unelected bureaucrat,  selected and promoted in an obscure procedure with white smoke coming out of chimney: “Habemus papam”.

Brussels deaf to May’s attempts to save deal

Prime Minister Theresa May will address her own political family members of parliament (MPs) with a request to send a message to Brussels informing they would support her Brexit deal if a plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland is replaced. (Image: Berlaymont).

 

May attempts to seal bilateral Irish deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to seal a bilateral treaty with the Irish government as a tool to remove the so-called “backstop” arrangement from Article 50 deal with the European Union, according to media reports.

May thought a deal with Ireland would remove the opposition to her Brexit plan from the Democratic Unionist Party that supports  her minority government and from discontent pro hard Brexit MPs in Conservative Party, the Sunday Times reported.

 

Brexit: EU27 Political Declaration

The European Council (Article 50) on 13 December 2018 adopted conclusions on Brexit.

1. The European Council reconfirms its conclusions of 25 November 2018, in which it endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and approved the Political Declaration. The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation. 

2. The European Council reiterates that it wishes to establish as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future. It stands ready to embark on preparations immediately after signature of the Withdrawal Agreement to ensure that negotiations can start as soon as possible after the UK’s withdrawal.

3. The European Council underlines that the backstop is intended as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market. It is the Union’s firm determination to work speedily on a subsequent agreement that establishes by 31 December 2020 alternative arrangements, so that the backstop will not need to be triggered.

4. The European Council also underlines that, if the backstop were nevertheless to be triggered, it would apply temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement that ensures that a hard border is avoided. In such a case, the Union would use its best endeavours to negotiate and conclude expeditiously a subsequent agreement that would replace the backstop, and would expect the same of the United Kingdom, so that the backstop would only be in place for as long as strictly necessary.

5. The European Council calls for work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes.

EU drafts Irish border solutions to save Brexit deal

European Unionstands ready to examine whether any further assurance can be provided” to the UK over the Irish border in Article 50 Agreement between the EU27 and the Britain.

The EU institutions are preparing a draft of a document the for British Prime Minister Theresa May  to facilitate  the divided Westminster to approve their Brexit deal, underlining said any such clarifications would not “change or contradict” the Agreement.

The 27 EU member-states have not reached consent on large parts of the draft text and the European diplomats presume the draft will be a subject of changes. The part of the text on the EU’s readiness to provide more assurances to the UK is under scrutiny of the Irish.

There is an opinion among the  European diplomats that Theresa May is seeking to terminate the Irish backstop after three years of transitional period, while Irish are insisting  on an agreement without an expiration date, but with a possibility to be replaced by another negotiated deal in the future, however the will be no situation of a political vacuum in this case.

Image above: illustration, Michel Barnier in Europa building.

Europarl leaders refuse Brexit deal revision

The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament political groups informed that the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced and the it is only deal possible. It is therefore one not open to renegotiation.

 

The Conference of Presidents, together with the Brexit Steering Group, discussed  the state of play of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The Conference took note that the meaningful vote in the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement had been deferred and that the UK Prime Minister had held meetings yesterday with a number of European leaders to explore ways to facilitate the UK’s ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference reconfirmed its view that the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are fair and balanced and represent, given EU principles, current UK red lines and the commitments set out in the Good Friday Agreement, the only deal possible to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the European Union. It stressed that renegotiating the backstop was not possible since it is the guarantee that in whatever circumstances there could be no hardening of the border on the island of Ireland. The Conference reiterated that without a backstop Parliament would not give its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Conference also reiterated its support for as close as possible future EU-UK relationship such that the deployment of the backstop would not be necessary. The President and group leaders reaffirmed that the backstop is in any case to be used only as a measure of last resort. All efforts to make this point clear were welcomed.

The Conference noted that failure to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement would mean no transition period following the exit from the EU. It called on the Commission and the Member States to continue and intensify their work on no-deal planning.

  • The Conference finally noted that Parliament’s consent to the Withdrawal Agreement would be facilitated by UK government assurances as regards implementation of the citizens’ rights provisions of the Agreement in those areas outlined in a ‘diplomatic bag‘ correspondence with the Home Office.

The Conference of Presidents agreed to return to the issue of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union at its next meeting.

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