The EU says it’s ready to cook Boris’s “oven-ready” deal

EU Summit conclusions impose their conditions for Mrs May’s deal in 2018

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

Congratulations to Boris Johnson come from Brussels, but with strict cooking instructions

While the United Kingdom was focused on the General Election this week, the EU’s top body – the EU Council of the leaders of each country - has spent two days at its December summit in Brussels, with no UK representative present.

At this summit, the EU27 leaders discussed Boris Johnson’s victory and the future of Brexit.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

  • EU’s top priority is “level playing field” obligations to prevent UK becoming more competitive
  • Statement refers back to Mrs May’s deal in Nov 2018
  • All previous EU statements and positions stand, with the exception of the Northern Ireland Backstop
  • Negotiations to be “sequenced” to favour EU agenda
  • Michel Barnier is back, reappointed as Chief Negotiator

What did the EU Council say about Brexit following Boris Johnson’s overwhelming victory?

Yesterday in Brussels, the EU Council’s new President Charles Michel (replacement for Donald Tusk), together with the EU Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen (replacement for Jean-Claude Juncker), made statements about Brexit following the emphatic general election win for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party on Thursday.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Key excerpts from the official EU Conclusions of the Summit, Fri 13 Dec 2019

“1. The European Council reiterates its commitment to an orderly withdrawal on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement and calls for its timely ratification and effective implementation.”

“2. The European Council reconfirms its desire to establish as close as possible a future relationship with the UK in line with the Political Declaration and respecting the previously agreed European Council’s guidelines, as well as statements and declarations, notably those of 25 November 2018. The future relationship will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations and ensure a level playing field.”

“4. The European Council welcomes the Commission’s decision to reappoint Michel Barnier for the negotiations on the future relationship.”

Readers will note that the EU specifically insisted that the United Kingdom must respect “guidelines, statements and declarations” from November 2018. These refer to Theresa May’s disastrous Withdrawal Agreement, rejected by the House of Commons three times earlier this year.

Statements by EU Commission President von der Leyen

“The time-frame ahead of us is very challenging. We are going to have to get to work as soon as possible.

“We will have to prioritize, prioritize insofar as we will put specific focus on those issues at an economic cliff-edge at the end of 2020 if they would not be done.

“These are issues where we have neither an international framework to fall back on nor the possibility to take unilateral contingency measures covering the period after the 1st of January 2021. So there will be sequencing.

Statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel

“Now we will have a new competitor at our door in the form of Great Britain”

Many other EU leaders referred to the need to ensure “a level playing field” and to keep the UK as “closely aligned” to EU laws and regulations as possible.

Observations

It is clear to us that the EU is delighted that their one-sided Withdrawal Agreement is now almost certain to pass through the House of Commons in the coming weeks.

If the EU is urging that this agreement be signed as soon as possible, readers may be certain that they see it as being a win for the EU.

What is even more worrying is the EU’s referral back to their position when Mrs May was still Prime Minister. This is because the Withdrawal Agreement being proposed by Boris Johnson is unchanged from Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement, and they wished to restate that all their positions from that time still stand.

Coming tomorrow

TOMORROW we will be looking at the prospects for Brexit, now that a majority Conservative government has been elected.

Analysis of the election results from a Brexit point of view

The official, full, and detailed list of the results from each constituency is not yet available. As soon as it is, we will bring readers our usual analysis and original insight. As ever this is almost certain to contain facts you will not read elsewhere.

Finally, and very reluctantly, we believe that a significant pro-Brexit effort from several organisations will be required to ensure that a true Brexit is now delivered. If there is support for this, we will continue. If there isn’t, then we can’t. If you can help with a donation, the quick and secure links are below. Thank you.

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

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 14 Dec 2019

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