Von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel dismiss the United Kingdom asking for a new dawn of leadership and unity to the EU

Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen y David Sassoli

Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen and David Sassoli – Dario Pignatelli / EU Council / dpa

They warn that the future relationship will be as close as London wants to commit to EU rules


The presidents of the three main institutions of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen (European Commission), David Sassoli (European Parliament) and Charles Michel (European Council) have fired the United Kingdom on Friday with the commitment to work for a future alliance “ambitious”, but also appealing to the European Union to 27 to take advantage of Brexit as an opportunity for a “new dawn” of unity and leadership in the global sphere.

Von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel dismiss the United Kingdom asking for a new dawn of leadership and unity to the EU
Von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel dismiss the United Kingdom asking for a new dawn of leadership and unity to the EU

“No country can only contain the wave of climate change, find solutions to the digital future or have a strong voice in the increasingly noisy cacophony in the world. But together, the European Union can,” they wrote in an open letter published a few hours after the United Kingdom leaves the block.

In the text they are convinced that “only the European Union” can take the lead to achieve challenges such as being the first continent with zero pollutant emissions on the horizon of 2050, with a “fair” transition and driving new technologies.

“We believe that only the European Union can do it, but we know that we can only do it together: citizens, nations and institutions,” write Von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel, and then commit to assume their role in this objective.

“The work will continue as soon as the sun rises again tomorrow,” they say at the close of the letter in which they also underline the economic weight of the United Twenty-seven when they start discussions with international “partners and allies” such as the United States, Africa , China or India.

From the United Kingdom, which will leave the EU at midnight this Friday to Saturday, the leaders of the European institutions highlight their contribution to the European project in the last five decades and lament their decision to break with the community club.

“We will think of the United Kingdom and its people, their creativity, ingenuity, culture and traditions, which have been a vital part of the tapestry of our Union”, leave written Von der Leyen, Sassoli and Michel, who declare themselves willing to be “ambitious” facing the negotiation of the future relationship.

However, they warn, how close the future relationship “will depend on decisions that are yet to be made”, because “every election has consequences” and if London does not accept the freedom of movement of Europeans in its territory, it will not be able to enjoy the advantages either of the other fundamental freedoms of the Single Market – capitals, goods and services.

“Without equal conditions in the environment, employment, taxation and state aid, there will be no access to the single high-quality market. If you are not a member, you cannot maintain the benefits of being part,” the three institutions settled.

With the divorce in force as of this February 1, the European Union will dedicate this month 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 adopt the final version on 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.

Although Brexit will be consummated this early morning, the consequences in practice will not be noticed until December 31 because although the United Kingdom will cease to have a voice and vote in EU decisions on Saturday, it will remain subject to the rules and the EU Court of Justice until the transition period expires.

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