Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier: “This Treaty is the only Option.” The European Union will not renegotiate with the British about the resignation agreement, says EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
“If the UK wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, then this treaty is the only option.”
“There are three options,” says Barnier in an interview.
“A deal based on the agreement we concluded six months ago, a withdrawal from the EU without a deal or no Brexit.
It is up to the UK to decide on this.”
Since British Prime Minister, Theresa May declared her departure last week,
there has been a renewed suggestion in London to renegotiate the conditions surrounding the Brexit.
Candidates to succeed her, including former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and former foreign minister Boris Johnson,
still think they can renegotiate, although the EU has repeatedly said it is not open to it.
Alternative solutions for the Irish border
Critics of the current deal fear that the agreements around the Irish border will keep the UK too dependent on the European Union.
To prevent border controls, the British should remain in the European Customs Union,
which would prevent them from concluding their trade agreements.
They, therefore, want other technological options to be considered to keep the customs border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open.
Michel Barnier states that this may someday be an option, but not yet.
“Technology, drones, invisible controls. None of these solutions is currently workable.”
Contradictions in the demands of the British Conservatives
According to Barnier, it is merely not possible what the British want: “There are contradictions in the interests of the British Conservatives.
You cannot leave the internal market without introducing border controls.”
According to Barnier, that has nothing to do with ideology: “What is at stake here is peace and stability in Ireland.
Defending the internal market is essential, but it only comes after peace and stability.”
British leave the EU at the end of October
In the resignation agreement, agreements have been made about the conditions regarding the departure of the British from the European Union.
A transition period, an emergency plan about the British border,
a ‘farewell account’ and agreements about the rights of EU citizens in the UK (and vice versa) must prevent the Brexit from ending in significant chaos.
Originally the British would leave the EU on March 30.
Because there is not a majority in favour of the resignation agreement, that date has been postponed twice.
The current deadline is October 31.