Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland Leo Varadkar said he believes the European Union will strike a deal with Britain to smooth its exit from the bloc, even as Dublin continues its preparations for all outcomes, including a no deal.
“As things stand, the UK will leave the EU on March 29, six weeks from now, with or without an agreement. I believe we will strike a deal,” Varadkar said in a speech on January 13.
Meanwhile the European Commission press person said Britain has not requested a Brexit delay and that any such extension of negotiating time before the divorce could not be open-ended but leading to a concrete result.
During a regular news midday briefing in Brussels, Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas explained an extension of the Article 50 exit process, should be approved unanimously by all the other 27 EU member states to be granted.
However Schinas underlined that such a request of extension of the deadline has not been received yet.
The EU top negotiator Michel Barnier made a remark on his determination to keep Brexit transparent.
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.
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 “promoted” Brexit, 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”.
Following the demands of the British lawmakers Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to renegotiate an Article 50 deal with the European Union, however Brussels is firm in its refusal of introduction of any change. The Irish border ‘backstop’ remains the apple of discord. (Image: illustration).
Within the current disposition the EU is preparing for ‘hard’ Brexit, meaning to leave the bloc under the WTO rules.
The EU top negotiator Michel Barnier said the position of Brussels institutions vis-à-vis the deal remains unchanged.
The EU rigid approach, and pressure applied to the UK, to opinion of experts is an attempt to direct Britons to cancellation of Brexit in one or the other form: for postponing it indefinitely, or demanding the second referendum.
Meanwhile the attempt of Labour MP Yvette Cooper to delay Brexit and stop a ‘No Deal’ has failed
Westminster voting down the proposed by the Theresa May government agreement with EU27 caused the range of reactions from the blocs’s institutions, and major players, warning about the catastrophic consequences of the no-deal Brexit for communities from both sides of the Channel.
“The deal on the table respects the UK’s red lines and protects our citizens and companies from the surreal possibility of a no-deal Brexit. The Government should swiftly provide clarity on the next steps. The time for one-liners has run out, we need concrete choices”, Manfred Weber MEP (Germany, EPP) said. Although he admitted that the UK departing without an agreement is becoming one of realistic scenarios.
The EU top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said EU is ‘fearing more than ever’ a chaotic departure of UK from bloc.
“It is not up to me, as a humble Belgian, to lecture Brits on what to do, but I think it’s time the national interest overtakes narrow party politics & cross party politics redefines the red lines imposed by hardliners in the Conservative party. We are ready for this” said Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, ALDE).
European Union “stands 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.
The EU27 leaders will meet in the framework of Summit on December 13 to discuss the situation around Brexit, and latest developments in the UK.
“We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification. As time is running out, we will also discuss our preparedness for a no-deal scenario“, informed Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.
The EU leaders relentlessly repeat there will be no Article 50 deal re-negotiation, however they are willing to “facilitate” the UK ratification of the Agreement.
Prime Minister Theresa May will have a hard time getting the House of Commons‘ approval of the Article 50 deal , criticized by both the most pro-Brexit and pro-European MPs.
A negative vote would provoke a ‘hard Brexit‘ or departure from the EU on the WTO rules on March 29, the break-away feared by the many players.
“Those who think that by rejecting the deal, they will get a better deal will be disappointed,” said the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker after the special summit on Article 50 Agreement in Brussels.
The European top negotiator, Michel Barnier, called on all statesmen to assume their responsibilities, an invitation to the British Parliament – Westminster – where the rejection of the deal is highly likely.
“We worked and negotiated with the UK, never against the UK,” he said. “Now it’s time for everyone to take responsibility. Everybody.”
“The United Kingdom has freely subscribed to the European Union, and it has its obligations when now it is leaving the bloc, especially when financial matters are concerned” said MEP Philippe Lamberts (Belgium, Greens) to Europe Diplomatic Magazine, calling the UK statesmen to act responsibly. MEP also reckoned, that the EU is co-guarantor along with the UK of the Good Friday Agreement. However if Westminster is not able to decide Lamberts suggest the people s vote is the only democratic option.