Leaders called the agreement with London the best possible

Photo: EU Press conference of Presidents Tusk and Juncker, and the EU's chief negotiator Barnier, after the summit.

At their special summit on Sunday morning in Brussels the leaders of the EU 27 sealed the withdrawal agreement of London from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community, and also signed a Political Declaration that sets the direction of the future relations between the two sides. After doing this they held a short meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. It is expected the divorce deal to guarantee a smooth departure of the UK on 30 March 2019. 

As it was specified by the European Council President Donald Tusk the agreement for withdrawal aims to minimise the uncertainty and disruption caused by Brexit for the EU citizens, businesses and member countries and to settle the status of EU citizens who live, work and study in the UK with reciprocal guarantees.

The accord is making sure that the UK honours all financial commitments and liabilities and avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and will prevent a legal vacuum for the European companies. The document foresees that during the transition period, which can be extended by one or two years, the UK will continue its payments to the EU budget and legal certainty will be secured.

During the press conference after the summit President Tusk explained that “the European Council restated the Union's determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future.” Ahead of us is the difficult process of ratification as well as further negotiations, he said, noting that regardless of how it will all end, one thing is certain: “we will remain friends until the end of days, and one day longer.”

On his part Jean-Claude Juncker, EC President, stressed that it is a “sad day” and that the withdrawal is “not a glorious moment”, but he also pointed out that it is “the best deal possible”. He added that the EU and the UK will remain friends and the UK will not be “like the others third countries."

The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier received special thanks by the European Council “for his tireless efforts as the Union's chief negotiator and for his contribution to maintaining the unity among EU27 Member States throughout the negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.” At the press conference Barnier stated that this deal is “fair and balanced” and the best possible given the circumstances.

The divorce deal have to be ratified by the British Parliament and the European Parliament. EP President Antonio Tajani affirmed at the summit that “should the agreement be approved by the UK Parliament, we too will quickly be able to complete the assent procedure”, mentioning that it could be done even in January next year.

Similar articles

  • EU debates how to keep nuclear deal alive after new Iran moves

    EU debates how to keep nuclear deal alive after new Iran moves

    European Union foreign ministers on Monday debated ways to keep the Iran nuclear deal intact after the Islamic Republic began enrichment work at its Fordo site in a fresh act of defiance that seems likely to spell the end of the painstakingly crafted international agreement. At talks in Brussels, the EU powers that signed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal - Britain, France and Germany - were expected to signal what action should be taken as the bloc awaits a new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency later Monday on whether Iran is still complying with its commitments.

    14
  • EU creates first permanent border force

    EU creates first permanent border force

    The EU on Friday formally established its first permanent border corps, which will enforce Frontex with 10,000 officers by 2027, news wires reported.The adoption by Member States means that the EU border and coast guard agency for Schengen area will have personnel wearing its uniform and on its payroll who can be deployed to the bloc's external borders to handle crises or general management. Frontex currently has up to 1,500 officers active at any time but they are seconded to the agency by Member States for short missions, along with ships and aircraft.

    19