EU’s chief Brexit negotiator hopes to see “more decisions, less overtime negotiation”

  • ECO News
  • 17 January 2019

Barnier was in Lisbon to discuss the repercussions of the Brexit deal. “If the UK changes the red lines, we move immediately, if [the UK] wants more, we are ready,” he said.

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said this Thursday that the EU is now waiting to see the results of the dialogue between the prime minister, Theresa May, and the rest of the British government. When questioned by its Portuguese counterparts, on a joint hearing involving all the European Affairs committees, Foreign Affairs and Economy, Innovation and Public Works committees, Barnier admitted that he believes the British government should now decide what steps to take. If the limits proposed by the UK for the Brexit agreement change, the EU will change the Brexit deal “immediately”.

“We are now on hold, as we wait for the results of the negotiations between May and her British peers. And we are hoping that they find the best solution for this deal. We worked for 18 months with teams from 27 different member-states, in order to design an organized and thorough deal for UK’s departure of the EU. This still continues to be, in our opinion, the best deal possible”, he stated in his opening speech at the event.

Barnier was in Lisbon to discuss the repercussions of the departure of the UK from the EU (Brexit).

“If the UK decided to change any of the limits set by our deal, we will immediately be ready to negotiate”, he guaranteed.

Barnier outlined that the deal is a “bilateral agreement, which aims at providing legal safety to both sides”, and it is over 600 pages long. He talked about the need for an objective negotiation, one that “does not go against the UK, but instead works with the UK”. “We are open for discussions and we will continue respecting the British people’s sovereignty, but we profoundly regret what Brexit has brought so far. Could anyone until now, successfully prove that the Brexit deal had any added value? No one, not even Mr. Nigel Farage”.

“In the case of a” no deal “, we have to be clear: we have worked from the first day to reach an agreement. This stalemate aggravates and increases the risk of an unaccountable exit, so it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves for all positions” Barnier said. “If there is no agreement, it is necessary to establish contingency measures on each side. I am waiting for decisions and not overtime negotiation “, he said on the possibility of extending the date for leaving the UK, making it clear that the decision is on the British side.