Skip to content

Juncker transferred to Johnson that a chaotic Brexit would only take place by decision of the United Kingdom

August 27, 2019


The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, reminded the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Tuesday that the EU is prepared for a Brexit without an agreement although it will do everything possible to avoid it, while stressing that a scenario thus “it will only happen by decision of the United Kingdom” and in no case of the community block.

It is one of the messages that the head of the Community Executive has sent to the British conservative in a telephone call that has been the second contact that both have maintained since Johnson was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after the first exchange of July 25.

“He recalled that although the EU is fully prepared for a scenario without agreement, it will do everything possible to avoid that situation. A scenario without agreement will only occur by decision of the United Kingdom, not the EU,” said a spokeswoman for the European Commission .

In this way, the Luxembourgian has transferred all responsibility to London if in the end Brexit is chaotic and without agreement. Johnson has promised since he is prime minister that London will leave the block with or without agreement on October 31.

In addition, Juncker has reiterated the will of Brussels to work “constructively” with London and “study any concrete proposal that it may have” as long as they are “compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement”.

The same message has also been transferred to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, with whom Johnson has spoken by telephone hours before contacting Juncker. “The EU at 27 remains open to proposals compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement: respect for the integrity of the single market and not creating a hard border on the Irish island,” the Dutchman wrote on Twitter.

Both calls have taken place a week after the British prime minister severely criticized the safeguard clause ('backstop' in community jargon) to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Johnson advocated in a letter sent to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, for replacing it with another type of agreement that he did not detail, but his proposal was rejected by both the Polish and the Community Executive.

On this issue, which is the main point of disagreement between the two sides, Juncker stressed that the EU's support for Ireland is “unwavering” and that the club “will continue to be very aware of the interests” of Ireland.

The British negotiator for Brexit, David Frost, will travel to Brussels on Wednesday to hold meetings at a technical level, among others with the Working Group of the European Commission for Brexit. He will not meet, however, with his European counterpart, Michel Barnier, who will be in Copenhagen (Denmark) within his usual round of contacts.