Barnier believes that “an agreement is still possible” this week to avoid a caustic Brexit

The EU claims London a legal proposal and examines “all scenarios”, including a new extension


The European Union negotiator for Brexit, former French commissioner Michel Barnier, said Tuesday that “it is still possible” to close an agreement this week to avoid a chaotic Brexit at the end of the month, although he has warned that “every time it is more difficult “and that it is necessary for London to present a new legal and credible proposal.

“Even though an agreement is difficult, increasingly difficult, it is still possible to achieve it this week,” Barnier told reporters in Luxembourg, upon his arrival at a council of European Ministers of General Affairs, where the Twenty-seven will take stock of the State of the negotiations.

Barnier believes that “an agreement is still possible” this week to avoid a caustic Brexit
Barnier believes that “an agreement is still possible” this week to avoid a caustic Brexit

Last Friday, Barnier received a green light from member states to “intensify negotiations” and enter the phase that negotiators call “tunnel”, because it means avoiding interference and communications abroad to focus on efforts to close a pact .

The European negotiator has said that despite the “hard work” of the weekend and Monday, the British and European teams have not yet reached an agreement, but the ongoing talks continue.

However, he warned, “it is urgent that good intentions become a legal text”, so that both the United Kingdom and the bloc have sufficient legal guarantees that the alternative negotiated will be feasible and legally operational to protect integrity of the Single Market, the economy throughout the Irish island and avoiding the return to a hard border in the Ulster.


Thus, the ministers meeting in Luxembourg to prepare the summit of heads of state and government on Thursday and Friday will not only listen to Barnier's balance sheet on the state of the negotiations, but will examine “all scenarios”, including the possibility of a new extension to delay the departure of the United Kingdom beyond October 31 set in the calendar.

Finnish European Affairs Minister and EU President Tytti Tuppurainen has asked to “use every minute to avoid” a Brexit without agreement, because it would be a “very harmful” situation for both parties, while pointing out that “All scenarios are open.”

Therefore, he added, although the discussion on a new postponement is not on the agenda of ministers, Tuppurainen has considered that “the leaders will probably evaluate all possible extensions” at the summit this week, because the European Union must be prepared in any scenario In any case, he stressed, the possibility of an extension lies in London because it is the British Government who must make such a request.

Also the Secretary of State for German Europe, Michael Roth, has opined that it would be a “disaster” for the EU and for the United Kingdom that there was a “hard” Brexit because of the lack of agreement on the conditions of divorce, but he pointed out the “special responsibility” of the British Government and the flexibility with which it says that the EU is facing this crisis.

“Hopefully they understand our clear messages,” Roth has entrusted, after listing the integrity of the Single Market and the Good Friday peace agreements as inalienable red lines for the block.

Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok, for his part, has indicated that steps have been taken in the right direction in recent days, but that “they are not enough” to seal a pact.

Block has stressed that it is up to the Government of Boris Johnson to give legal certainty to the proposal that the EU expects and has hoped that “there is still time” for the agreement.

France, meanwhile, advocates being “extremely responsible” and facing “calm” these last days of negotiation to ensure that if an alternative agreement is achieved you have the necessary guarantees that the EU claims, said its secretary of state for affairs Europeans, Amélie de Montchalin.

Regarding the extension options, Montchalin has been emphatic in warning that in the eyes of France it would only make sense to allow a “political change of scope” in the United Kingdom. “The passage of time simply will not resolve the complexity of the situation,” French policy has argued, for whom it is important to reach an agreement but “not at any price.”

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