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Barnier: Brexit is A Failure of the EU That Must be Learned

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The departure of the British from the EU is a sign of the failure of the European Union, from which lessons must be learned.


“This is a divorce. Brexit is a warning,” said former EU negotiator Michel Barnier during a debate on Brexit in the European Parliament. “Why did 52 percent of British vote against Europe? We must listen to and understand people’s feelings,” said the Frenchman.

Parliament will vote on the new trade and cooperation treaty between the EU and the United Kingdom on Tuesday, the last step towards ratifying the treaty. Barnier has received a standing ovation for his four-year efforts since he was appointed chief Brexit negotiator on behalf of the European Commission in 2016.

First, after lengthy negotiations, he reached an agreement on the exit conditions with the United Kingdom, including special deals on the status of British Northern Ireland, which will remain within the European Single Market. He then agreed on a new trade agreement with the British government at the end of December.

Parliament is also voting on a 17-page resolution calling Brexit “a historic mistake” and urging the European Commission to pursue legal action against London over Northern Ireland. Parliament is concerned that the British are not complying with the agreements on Northern Ireland.

The committee launched a legal process last month after London unilaterally decided to delay introducing controls on goods shipped from British soil to Northern Ireland until October 1. It was agreed that this would start on April 1. Brussels and London are in talks on the issue, but they have so far failed.

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