Barnier: EU Will Act in a “Responsible Manner” If There’s No Deal

There’s been plenty of huffing and puffing from anonymous EU officials in response to Boris’s alternative Brexit proposals – despite Jeremy Hunt’s actually being pretty similar. Behind the bluster however, the reality is significantly more sensible and level-headed…

Steve Barclay and Michel Barnier have been exchanging a series of letters over the past few weeks. Barclay has been asking Barnier to guarantee citizens’ rights even if the rest of the deal fails to go through. Naturally the EU is refusing to give citizens certainty but Barnier still struck a constructive tone in his latest response:

“Nevertheless, if, despite our efforts, the United Kingdom would prefer to leave the Union without the Withdrawal Agreement, the Union and the remaining Member States would act in a responsible manner, through unilateral measures.

“We have conducted intense work in preparation for such an event.”

It’s easy to forget that in March the EU already published detailed contingency measures for everything from aviation to road freight, including measures that effectively waived the need for most checks on road freight for at least nine months to ensure that goods continued to flow smoothly. Critics of the GATT XXIV transition plan are correct that it would require agreement from both sides, the reality is that the EU will implement a range of unilateral measures which create a de facto transition period anyway without formal agreement. If No Deal does happen in October, self-preservation instincts will quickly take over from posturing on the EU side…

Euro News

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Quote of the Day

Emmanuel Macron comes over all euro-sceptic…

“We ended the day on what we can call a failure. It’s a very bad image we are giving of the Council and Europe, no one can be satisfied with what happened over so many hours. Our credibility is profoundly tainted with these meetings that are too long and lead to nothing, we give an image of Europe that isn’t serious. We cannot hold talks with world leaders, in an ever more violent world, and be a club that meets at 28 without ever deciding anything.”


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