The deal reached on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is the “best possible” and is not up for negotiation but the European Commission is ready to talk with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the spokeswoman for the Commission Mina Andreeva said on Monday.
She was responding to an op-ed by British Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay, who said the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, must go back to EU leaders to change the terms of the talks because the British parliament will not accept the current deal.
“So far it…remains unchanged – this position that the withdrawal agreement is not up for negotiation but we are open to talk about the political declaration,” Mina Andreeva told a news briefing in Brussels. “And of course we are willing to talk and engage with Prime Minister Johnson.”
According to Andreeva, the position of the European Commission remains that the agreement reached already on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is not up for negotiation. “But we are open to talk about the political declaration,” she added.
The EU chief spokeswoman also offered explanations to why a no-deal Brexit will mostly hurt the UK than the EU-27. According to the European Commission’s latest no-deal preparedness Communication, this is the case and the quantification of this “proportionately higher impact to the uk than to the EU-27” has been highlighted by many independent studies.
From his end, Boris Johnson was reported having no intention of renegotiating the withdrawal agreement and a no-deal Brexit is his “central scenario.”
EU diplomats have been briefed following a meeting between the prime minister’s chief envoy and officials in Brussels. David Frost, who replaced Olly Robbins as the government’s chief Europe adviser, was said to have instead sought to discuss how negotiations could be reset after the UK crashes out on 31 October, during his recent talks with senior EU figures.
“It was clear UK does not have another plan,” a senior EU diplomat said of the meetings held with Frost. “No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan. A no deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario.”
Meanwhile the German government is prepared for all possible scenarios regarding Britain’s expected departure from the European Union, a spokeswoman said on Monday, adding that Berlin was still aiming to secure a Brexit deal.
“We still want Britain to have an orderly exit from the European Union,” a spokeswoman told a news conference. “A no deal Brexit would be in nobody’s interests.”
Via The Guardian / Reuters / New Europe