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).
If there is no way forward because the Westminster rejected the negotiated Brexit deal with the EU MEPs offer to reverse the process, they have also underlined that they are prepared to give the additional time to Britons to consider the II referendum to break the political deadlock, consulting people.
It is exactly the scenario Nigel Farage UKIP MEP presumes the EU27 had in mind when imposing Irish border “backstop”, and the other conditions, impossible to accept by the UK lawmakers. The hard Brexit, and leaving the bloc under the WTO rules is the only way forwards, the MEP said. The major objection to the current deal is it indefinite timetable, removing intensives for negotiating the future trade agreement between the EU27 and the UK.
“In these challenging times, we therefore share with you the determination to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for citizens and companies in a situation where a Member State leaves the European Union after more than four decades of closest economic and political integration. That is why the Withdrawal Agreement that you and the Leaders of the 27 EU Member States agreed after long negotiations is so important. It represents a fair compromise and aims to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, thereby limiting the negative consequences of Brexit. That is also why we wish to establish as close as possible a relationship with the United Kingdom in the future, building on the Political Declaration, which the Leaders of the 27 EU Member States agreed with you. It is also why we want negotiations to this effect to start as soon as possible after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.”
France is hoping that Westminster will approve Prime Minister Theresa May negociated Brexit deal, an unnamed official at President Macron’s Elysee administration said to Reuters news agency.
Asked whether France would support an extension to the official deadline to Article 50 – regarding little time left for Brexit – the official replied: “We would hope that the vote tomorrow is a favorable one.”
“Afterwards, if that is not the case, it will be up to the United Kingdom to make a certain number of demands and proposals to the European Union,” added the official.
Britain began simulations for the upheaval of a no-deal Brexit by lining up 87 trucks at a little-used airport for a trip towards the United Kingdom’s most important trading gateway to continental Europe. (Image: illustration).
The group of 89 HGVs set off at 08:00 GMT from the disused Manston Airport, near Ramsgate in Kent, on a 20-mile route to the Port of Dover, the UK media reports.
At Dover, lorries were directed to the Eastern Docks roundabout where they did a loop and drove back to the airfield.
Prime minister May said that Britain would be in uncharted waters if the negotiated with the EU27 Brexit deal is rejected by the Westminster, in a vote, postponed to mid-January.
Facing defeat in parliament last month, May cancelled the vote on the agreed with the EU deal and pledged to seek further political and legal assurances from Brussels. The EU did nothing to calm the tensions, on contrary the European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker described May’s requests as “nebulous“, causing further deterioration of political climate.
Juncker also stated that the renegotiation of the deal is not possible. Many experts assess the EU27 hash position toward the UK as a deliberate ideological choice to “punish” Britons, creating a negative example for those, who might be interested to follow London on the way to exit the bloc.
The chances of the “no-deal” departure of the UK form the EU are becoming real. The experts, monitoring the situation, have noticed that the the British government has removed the word “unlikely” from its official guidance, telling companies and citizens how to prepare for a disorderly exit in case the UK leaves the bloc without a deal.
The government has issued a number of notices in recent months with advice on what needs to be done before the country leaves the EU after almost four decades of membership on March 29. (The application for joining the bloc was submitted in 1979). The notices cover all spectrum of endeavor from the transporting of organs, blood and sperm to nuclear regulation and organic food.
The notices had initially referred to a possibility of a departure without a deal as ‘unlikely’, at present the documents removed the assessment, and refer to a looming disorderly Brexit in a neural tone as “no-deal scenario“.
British government said it would implement preparations for a no-deal Brexit in full and begin telling businesses and citizens to prepare for the risk of leaving the European Union without an Article 50 Agreement.
Those preparations include setting aside space on ferries to ensure a regular flow of medical supplies and keeping 3,500 armed forces personnel ready to support the government with its contingency plans.
With just over 100 days until the UK is due to leave the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May is yet to win the support of a deeply divided Westminster for the deal she concluded last month with EU27 to maintain close ties with the bloc, and ensure smooth transition period.