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 Theresa May attempts to convince the European Union to make “just one more push” to break an impasse on Article 50 deal to obtain the Westminster backing of her government’s Agreement next week, which is considered by many experts as an ultimate ‘last-minute’ fix. May also underlined that voting deal down next week, might mean the whole variety of options from Brexit delay to not leaving the bloc at all.
The EU decision-making process does not allow to re-open the negotiations process, only complementary political declarations are possible to add to the Article 50 deal. The EU executives made it clear the end last year, and repeated continuously: “that is the deal”.
Meanwhile EU Ambassadors in Brussels were summoned to a meeting on Brexit, including the no-deal scenario.
The European Union will offer Britain a long delay to Brexit because of upcoming European elections, British trade minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, March, 3.
Fox explained it was still “entirely possible” Britain leaves the bloc as foreseen on March 29 but an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period may be necessary in order to deliver a smooth exit from the bloc.
Prime Minister Theresa May said any extension should not be beyond the end of June.
However the junior justice minister Rory Stewart told Skynews that Britain is likely to be forced into delaying of the departure on March 29, if Westminster rejects May‘s deal.
“I think we would have to be forced into an extension of Article 50,” Stewart said. “There doesn’t seem to be parliamentary majority for ‘no deal’.”
“I don’t think those in Parliament who’ve sought to create an option to delay Brexit have fully thought through what they’re actually doing,” George Eustice said. He resigned on February 28 from his position as Minister for Agriculture in protest at May‘s plan to allow lawmakers to vote on delaying Brexit if her deal fails to get approval. “It would be dangerous to go to the EU ‘cap in hand’ at the 11th hour and beg for an extension” Eustice warned.
Today British Prime Minister Theresa May will propose ruling out a no-deal Brexit in a bid to avoid a rebellion of the Westminster threatening to take over control of the Article 50 implementation, The Sun and Daily Mail newspapers reported.
“If however the Council agrees to extend Art 50 & May rules out leaving with no deal it means we are not leaving. This will mean a political civil war for decades” Gerard Batten MEP warned via his Twitter micro blog.
Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte warned against no-deal scenario as “unacceptable“. Meanwhile the Dutch government informed it is in talks with more than 250 foreign companies luring them to move their operations from Britain to The Netherlands before the UK departure date from the EU – 29th of March, Friday.
Prime Minister Theresa May faces perspective of Brexit delay weeks before the official date of the UK departure from the block in absence of the endorsed deal, ensuring the orderly separation.
May met the EU leaders at the margins of the Summit in Egypt in attempt to win support for the deal negotiated by her government, and subsequently rejected by the Westminster. A number of bilateral meetings took place at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh where Arab League-EU summit has taken place.
In spite of May‘s considerable efforts to re-shape the deal, making it acceptable for the British lawmakers, the EU executives insist they will not re-open the negotiations, however they are ready to supply with political declarations.
The position of the EU executives has not been changed since the deal has been endorsed by the EU Council in the end of the 2018. The political declarations only are not suffice for the UK lawmakers to accept the deal in its current state.
Prime Minister Theresa May promised a vote in Westminster on her Article 50 deal by March 12, the red line for her attempts to win approval for a plan to ensure the UK orderly departure from the European Union.
On her way to Cairo (Egypt) for an EU-Arab League summit, May said further meetings in Brussels on securing changes to the deal ruled out a so-called “meaningful” vote in parliament this week.
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 ‘soft‘ Brexit scenario, preserving economic benefits though a transition period, allowing economies to adjust to new realities. (From European Parliament Plenary, Strasbourg)