“No deal was never our desired nor intended scenario. No deal was never my intended scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely,” Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit top negotiator said addressing the even in the European Policy Centre Brussels think-tank. (Image above: illustration).
“Let’s not forget first that we have already an agreement, we have already a deal, and it was concluded by Theresa May and the British government and the European Council and European Parliament on November 25 last year, four months ago,” he said, putting the blame for the Brexit crisis on Westminster.
“If the UK parliament does not vote in favour of the withdrawal agreement in the coming days, then only two options would remain: leaving without an agreement or requesting a longer extension of the Article 50 period,” Barnier, reiterated the position of the EU institutions. “It would be the responsibility of the UK government to choose between these two options.”
Long extension would mean a participation in the European elections, and entering next political cycle withing the EU.
Debating with European Council president Donald Tusk and Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker the European Parliament largest political group leaders gave their support to the decisions taken by the EU heads of states and governments, concluding March 21-22 Summit to avoid a disorderly Brexit, giving additional opportunities to Theresa May government to avoid the UK departing from the bloc without an agreement. At In the second March European Parliament plenary numerous MEPs also individually expressed solidarity with pro-EU UK movements and bitterly criticised Westminster for incapacity to build a majority around any of possible models of moving forward.
The UK MEPs represented a variety of view, from ardent supporters of the EU membership, to staunch sovereignists, requesting immediate departure from they bloc without further delay.
In the situation when the Article 50 Agreement has not been delivered by the government, and the proposed deal was voted down twice by the Westminster, Alyn Smith from Scottish National Party (UK, Greens) MEP says the best way out is to stay in the EU. He reminded that his native Scotland voted to remain in the bloc.
Nigel Farage MEP, accused UK politics of being dishonest, while attempting to stop Brexit,the “Westminster has betrayed the greatest democratic vote in the history of our country“, he said, and vowed Brexiteers would not let it happen without consequences.
The top EU negotiator for Article 50 Agreement Michel Barnier reiterated that the deal was produced in co-operation with the UK, and not “against” the UK. He also underlined the unprecedented difficulty of the process, being not “trade talks“, but “exit” talks, and that it was a unilateral decision of Britons to leave, so they a have to assume the responsibilities for the consequences.
The European Union 27 leaders, gathering for a Summit in Brussels offered an extension of Brexit deadline to 22 May, the day before the European election voting starts in member-states (23-26 May).
However the deadline extension is not unconditional, EU27 Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said at arrival to the European Council. A short Brexit delay “should be conditional on a positive vote next week in the House of Commons“.
“We have done our best, now the solution is in London,” Barnier said.
The European Parliament representative for Brexit talks Guy Verhofstadt said there can not be a deadline extension beyond March 29 in absence of clarity of the position of the majority in House of Commons. The statement was made after consultations with Michel Barnier the EU chief negotiator.
Guy Verhofstad MEP warned off the European elections ‘hijacked‘by Brexit crisis, replacing political debate on European issues by political struggle in Westminster.
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 backstop “must 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).
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”.