MADRID, 1 Feb. –
The High Representative of the European Union (EU) in Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, said on Saturday that the United Kingdom will continue to be a “key partner” to continue cooperating and has maintained that although he “regrets” the decision, he respects it “deeply” , after the country has definitely left the EU.
Borrell has affirmed that the diplomatic representation of the European Union will be guaranteed by a delegation under his authority, against which will be the Portuguese diplomat Joao Vale de Almeida.
“I trust that he will be working tirelessly to ensure easy cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom,” he said. “The facilities of what was the representation of the Commission in London will become a delegation of the European Union. Operations begin today,” Borrell said in a statement.
In addition to the traditional responsibilities of delegations in a third country, including diplomatic representation, coordination, reporting and promotion of the EU in the country, this new delegation will have a “key role” to ensure the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement for Brexit, Borrell said.
“Together with the embassies of the EU member states, the rights of the citizens of the European Union in the United Kingdom will be announced after Brexit,” said the European High Representative.
Borrell has stressed that the relationship between the United Kingdom and the agency is “rooted in our shared values and interests and based on geography, history and values anchored in the common European heritage.”
The European representative has insisted that economic, social and political relations with the United Kingdom “will not end.” “We are and will continue to be closely linked. Our desire is to build a new and ambitious relationship in trade, international cooperation, law enforcement and criminal justice, foreign policy, security and defense,” he said.
Finally, Borrell stressed that he expects “very close cooperation with our British friends” in the “common challenges” they face at the regional and global levels.
With the entry into force of Brexit, the European Union will dedicate the month of February to prepare its negotiating strategy and to fix the red lines of the capitals in a mandate whose draft plans to present Brussels on day 3 and that the Member States will outline until adopting the version definitive day 25.
It will be then when everything is ready to start formal negotiations with London, predictably from March 1 if the planned schedule is met, within the framework of a dozen sectoral tables that will be convened approximately every three weeks.
The transition period agreed between the parties gives margin until the end of the year to seal the new agreement for the future, a period that from the EU has warned that they do not see feasible but before which London refuses to request an extension that allows to extend the margin of negotiation.