Proof: The EU wasn’t ready to negotiate for a year after the Referendum

How the EU delayed Brexit and is now lying about it

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

The EU lies frequently and blatantly – and here’s the evidence

Since the Brexit negotiations have been shown up as a farce of epic proportions, the EU has started engaging in the blame game to cover-up its complicity in the failures. The UK Government is still not countering the lies, so we will.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

How the EU delayed Brexit talks for a year

  • It took the EU 6 months to nominate a negotiator
  • It took the EU 12 months to be ready to start negotiations
  • It is simply not true that the delays were all down to the British side
  • The EU continues to lie about these facts, which come from their own documents

The lie : “the EU was ready to negotiate”

Firstly we present the EU’s claims about its readiness to engage with the UK over Brexit.

  1. From EU Council minutes showing how the EU refused to engage at all following the EU Referendum result
  2. From EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker just before the EU was finally ready to start negotiations in mid-June 2017
  3. From the EU Council’s current website giving its official position on the Brexit process

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The EU's claims are false and we will demonstrate this with evidence from the EU itself

"There can be no negotiations of any kind before this notification has taken place."

- EU Council, from minutes of EU Council informal summit, 29 June 2016

“We have been ready to negotiate for months.”

- Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President, 11 June 2017, interview with Der Spiegel

This is a gross falsehood and Juncker knew it.

“from the start, the EU was ready to negotiate as soon as the UK had notified its intention to withdraw”

- Official EU Council website, “The EU's response to Brexit”, screengrabbed on 12 Aug 2019

In reality, the EU were not ready to start negotiating until Mon 19 June 2017.

This is almost one full year after the British people voted to leave the EU.

The evidence

Below we present the timeline - the real one, collated from official EU documents at the time.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The wasted first year of Brexit - the reality

24 June 2016 - Neither Side Had Their Positions Prepared

If David Cameron had invoked Article 50 on 24th June 2016 as he promised, neither side would have been ready for detailed negotiations. The Establishment on both sides of the Channel were so convinced that the British people would never dare to vote Leave, as it was against the UK government’s strong position and the EU’s continuous propaganda.

What Happened Next?

In the UK’s case, action was relatively swift. David Davis was appointed Brexit Secretary on 13th July – less than three weeks after the Referendum.

In the EU’s case, Michel Barnier was provisionally nominated by Commission President Juncker on 27th July – two weeks after David Davis was appointed and five weeks after the Referendum. However, he was not formally appointed as the EU’s Chief Negotiator - that took much longer. (See below.)

So at that time the EU did not formally have a person with whom the UK Brexit Secretary could negotiate.

The cause of the EU’s delay was down to internal squabbles within the EU - between the Commission, the EU Parliament, and the EU Council - about how the Brexit negotiations should be run and who should run them.

2nd Oct 2016 : UK’s PM Announced Article 50 To Be Triggered By End March 2017

Whilst the EU was debating internally about its processes, British PM Theresa May announced that the UK would trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017. In making this announcement (at the Tory Party Conference), she gave the EU six months’ notice.

15 Dec 2016 : After 6 Months, The EU Finally Chose Its Chief Negotiator

Despite Michel Barnier being nominated by the EU Commission President at the end of July, it wasn’t until the EU Council meeting of 15th December that Barnier was appointed as the official Chief Negotiator for the EU. This was almost six months after the UK’s Referendum.

17 Jan 2017 : UK Prime Minister Published 12 Principles Of Brexit Negotiations

On 17 January 2017, Theresa May outlined 12 principles of what the UK was seeking to achieve in its vision of Brexit. These were widely publicised and avaliable to the EU.

02 Feb 2017 : UK Government Published White Paper, Detailing Brexit Position

At the beginning of February 2017, David Davis published an official White Paper. Running to 77 pages, it set out the previously announced Brexit principles in more detail. This was submitted to Parliament and was available to the EU.

29 Mar 2017 : UK Formally Invokes Article 50

Ahead of the self-imposed deadline which Mrs May announced the previous October, the UK government formally triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017. Mrs May’s 6 page letter to the EU reconfirmed the UK’s position in line with that which had previously been announced.

19 May 2017 : EU’s Barnier Announces ‘Mid-June’ For Start Of Negotiations

The EU was busy telling the world that it's the UK General Election that was causing delays in the start of negotiations. In fact the minutes of the latest EU Commission meeting at that time confirmed that the EU was still not ready to start.

30 May 2017 : Barnier Publishes ‘Draft’ Essential Principles

Michel Barnier published two documents setting out the ‘essential principles’ for the EU’s negotiating position. These remained in draft form and had to be studied by various parts of the EU machine before they could become final documents against which negotiations could start.

12 June 2017 : EU Finally Published Its Negotiating Papers

The EU’s papers issued on Monday 12 June 2017 were the first ones to have formal approval, against which negotiations could start. We must say that strangely we didn't see the links to these papers on the EU's servers until 16 June 2017, three days before the first meeting.

19 June 2017 – The EU Was Finally Ready To Greet The UK’s Team

On Monday 19 June 2017, almost a year after the UK’s Referendum decision to leave the EU, the first meeting took place between the EU’s Michel Barnier and the Rt Hon David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.


So, the EU was not ready for one year after the Referendum

Neither the UK Civil Service, NOR the EU Commission, had done any preparation for a Leave vote. In our view this represented gross negligence and incompetence on both sides, but naturally no heads have rolled.

The above shows how at all stages the EU was NOT ready to start negotiations. In fact the UK was ready before the EU was.

If the EU had acted efficiently it would have been ready to start the day after Article 50 was triggered – on 30 March. After all, it had been given 6 months’ notice of this by the UK government, and it was 9 months since the British people decided to leave the EU in the Referendum.

It is worth bearing in mind that on 29th March no-one even knew about any possible General Election in the UK, as it wasn’t called until the surprise announcement by Mrs May on 18th April. The simple fact is that the EU was still not ready before the General Election was called in the UK.

It was the EU which prevented informal talks for 9 months

Negotiations can take many forms. It is perfectly possible – many would say desirable – for informal talks to start as soon as both parties know that a formal negotiation will be required. Nothing needs to be agreed, but a general ‘sounding out’ of each other’s likely positions is useful.

In the case of Brexit, most people would have expected that informal talks might have happened in 2016, when it could have been helpful to both sides.

Instead, the EU took a bizarre position that no talks of any kind could take place until the UK had formally triggered Article 50. Regrettably the pro-EU elements of the British media acquiesced in this strange EU decision, as if it were perfectly normal.

This was a unilateral decision by the EU and was not something wanted by the UK. It is not mentioned anywhere in Article 50 or in any other article of the EU treaties. There was no law, directive, decision, or any other kind of rule which prevented the UK and the EU talking informally before the legal invocation of Article 50.

The EU and “fake news”

The EU is currently looking at ways to prevent negative comment appearing online about the EU. We are publishing this while we still can.

The EU has persistently lied about the start of negotiations for the past two years.

We are sure they will now wish to correct their narrative.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org published the details of the EU's delays many times as they came up over the past few years. We urged the Theresa May Government to respond to the EU but they never did.

Having all the details of each stage of the Brexit process has taken a huge amount of work on a daily basis for years. And we have all the EU's documents to prove our assertions above.

Please help us to keep going with a donation, so that we can continue to shine a bright Brexit light on important matters like this. Quick and secure donation metods are below. Please don't leave it to other people. We wouldn't ask if we didn't need your help. Thank you.

[ Sources: EU Council | EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 12 Aug 2019

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