Michel Barnier: Brussels Has no Intention of Renegotiating the Deal For Brexit

Politics | February 5, 2019, Tuesday // 10:24| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Michel Barnier: Brussels Has no Intention of Renegotiating the Deal For Brexit pixabay.com

Michel Barnier has warned Theresa May that the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation despite hints from the EU’s most senior civil servant suggesting otherwise, writes express.co.uk

Mr Barnier sent the warning during a visit to the Netherlands to meet Mark Rutte while Martin Selmayr, the European Commission’s secretary-general, entertained travelling MPs in Brussels. In a sign of growing power struggle over the Brexit negotiations in Brussels, the two EU officials demonstrated significantly contrasting positions after separate meetings. According to members of the House of Commons Exiting the EU Committee, Mr Selmayr introduced the possibility of reopening the withdrawal agreement to include a legally binding assurance that reaffirms the temporary nature of the Irish backstop.

But a resolute Mr Barnier held firm on his line and refused to reopen the deal agreed between Mrs May and EU27 leaders at a special Brussels summit in November last year.

After meeting with Mr Rutte, the French negotiator insisted there was “full agreement the the withdrawal agreement cannot be reopened”.

He added that the current backstop is the “only operational solution to address Irish border issue today” and that Brussels is ready to work on alternative solutions during the transition” period.

Mr Rutte shared a similar message. He said: “The withdrawal agreement remains the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.

“We continue to urge the UK Government to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps.”

But in Brussels, the visiting MPs claimed they were told that Brussels is ready to reopen the withdrawal agreement in order to “copy and paste” assurances from Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the EU’s two most senior officials, into it.

Critics in Westminster claim that the EU could attempt to hold Britain hostage in the customs union backstop by refusing to negotiate a future trade deal.

In letters to Mrs May ahead of the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’, which the Prime Minister’s deal was empathetically rejected by MPs, Mr Tusk and Mr Juncker sought reassure that Brussels had no intentions for the backstop to be triggered or become permanent.

“We continue to urge the UK Government to clarify its intentions with respect to its next steps.”

But in Brussels, the visiting MPs claimed they were told that Brussels is ready to reopen the withdrawal agreement in order to “copy and paste” assurances from Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, the EU’s two most senior officials, into it.

Critics in Westminster claim that the EU could attempt to hold Britain hostage in the customs union backstop by refusing to negotiate a future trade deal.

In letters to Mrs May ahead of the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’, which the Prime Minister’s deal was empathetically rejected by MPs, Mr Tusk and Mr Juncker sought reassure that Brussels had no intentions for the backstop to be triggered or become permanent.

As details of the meeting emerged, Mr Selmayr took to Twitter to deny the withdrawal agreement would be reopened.

He said: "On the EU side, nobody is considering this. Asked whether any assurances would help get the withdrawal agreement through the Commons, the answers of MPs were inconclusive.

“The meeting confirmed that the EU did well to start its no deal preparations in December 2017.”

Politics » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Michel Barnier, Brexit, UK, London, theresa may, Brussels, negotiating, decisions, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk
Advertisement
Advertisement
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria