EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

Last week Theresa May, the British Prime Minister went to Brussels to speak at the European Union Summit of 17 and 18 October. Before that she was received by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. Date: 17/10/2018. Location: Brussels, Belgium, EC / Berlaymont. © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte.

This newspaper has repeatedly asserted there will be no real Brexit, at least in the foreseeable future. Last week, the European Council in Brussels confirmed this. The President of the Council, Donald Tusk, made it clear. He plainly said Britain can remain as a full EU member after the Brexit day of 29 March 2019, until the two sides agree about the divorce terms. Already from December 2017, the EU leaders have accepted a two years interim period. Now, Brussels tells London the extension can be extended for as long as Britain thinks it necessary.

In detail, Tusk, for the first time, clarified that the EU leaders are ready to extend this two years interim period even further; practically until a full Brexit deal is reached. Summing up the results of the 17 and 18 October EU Summit in Brussels, he said “But let me recall that in her Florence speech in September 2017, Prime Minister May proposed a transition period of around 2 years. And the EU accepted this proposal unanimously. Therefore, if the UK decided that an extension of the transition period would be helpful to reach a deal, I am sure that the leaders would be ready to consider it positively”.

A breakthrough

Unquestionably, this is a major breakthrough in the stalled Brexit negotiations. The European Union has obviously decided to support the British Prime Minister Theresa May in her Herculean task, to put together a Brexit plan which can be voted for in the Commons, and be accepted by the EU negotiators at the same time. The new development makes sure that Britain may continue as a full EU member for as long as necessary for an agreement to be struck.

This is a major concession by Brussels but not without a positive aspect for mainland Europe. The idea behind this practically unlimited interim period after Brexit is to make sure there won’t be a wild divorce without a deal. In practice, it goes along the same lines with what 10 Downing Street has recently proposed.

Helping May

On 15 October, this newspaper’s leading article concluded: “Last Friday ..May again told her government and Tory party colleagues that post Brexit Britain won’t leave the EU Customs Union, but this will be ‘time limited’. How limited will it be, nobody can tell. In reality, Britain is to practically remain in the EU, and apply the rulings of the European Court for the years to come; for an eternity? Most probably!”.

More than a Customs Union

In short, the latest Brussels developments facilitate May’s efforts to convince her Brexiteer colleagues in the Tory party to accept her proposal for Britain to remain in the Customs Union. This is a first step towards a solution to the Irish stalemate. Readers may know that both London and Brussels have vowed that after Brexit there won’t be a hard border enacted on the island of Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland, the Eire, and Northern Ireland must continue communicating completely freely as today. After Brexit though, Eire remains in the EU and Northern Ireland has to follow out the rest of the UK. Only if the whole of the UK doesn’t leave the Customs Union or even better if it stays in the Union altogether, Eire and Northern Ireland will continue communicating freely.

It’s always Ireland

The final deal will, most probably, foresee something between the two extreme options, just a customs union or a full remain. For one thing, the EU negotiators have clarified that the UK cannot just cherry pick the Customs Union and forget all the other EU institutions and obligations.

By the same token, a full participation in all EU institutions during an indefinite interim period will be an unacceptable betrayal of the 23 June 2016 referendum 52% result for Brexit. So, Britain and the EU are now given enough time after March 2019 to come up with a divorce agreement, to avoid the dreadful for everybody no-deal Brexit. Brussels made sure of it.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

What changes in the EU as from today

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

The EU sides with China against the US; but has Germany capitulated to America?

The EU lets the bankers go on rigging the benchmarks

Here’s how to build energy infrastructures fit for the future

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

Human Rights Council election: 5 things you need to know about it

Visa liberalisation: Commission reports on fulfilment of visa-free requirements by Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement sees the light as Moscow’s reaction once more looms

High internet taxes are restricting access and slowing economic growth

Opening – Parliament expresses support for victims of Fuego volcano in Guatemala

European Youth Forum welcomes establishment of new Youth Intergroup in the European Parliament

This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

Angola’s President João Lourenço calls for stronger EU-Africa cooperation

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

EU presses India for a free trade agreement

UN agency ramps up effort to counter growing nuclear threat from cyberspace

Hunger and obesity in Latin America and the Caribbean compounded by inequality: UN report

UN ‘stands in solidarity’ with cyclone-hit India – Secretary-General Guterres

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

UN rights chief welcomes new text to protect rights of peasants and other rural workers

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

Why press freedom should be at the top of everyone’s agenda

How China raised the stakes for electric vehicles

Ceasefire holds in Tripoli, but core problems remain, says UN Libya mission chief

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

Nigeria floods: Guterres ‘deeply saddened’ by loss of life and rising need

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

UN police officer recognized for protecting vulnerable Somali women from abuse

What the next 20 years will mean for jobs – and how to prepare

‘Historic’ moment: Palestine takes reins of UN coalition of developing countries

Saudi woman seeking asylum in Thailand ‘now in a secure place’ says UNHCR

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

Tackling the toxic norms that hold women back in Asia

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Eurozone and Britain heading in different directions

South Sudanese refugees need $2.7 billion, as safe return remains elusive

Better air pollution data is helping us all breathe easier. Here’s how

Further reforms will promote a more inclusive and resilient Indonesian economy

Germany loves a strong euro; the new Fiscal Councils can deliver despite the Greek chaos and a wider questioning of austerity

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s