European Union offers 'fairness' to Britain in Brexit talks
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 0:17
In a new poll, commissioned by the European People's Party (EPP) and conducted by pollsters RED C, the vast majority of EU citizens want officials like chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to focus on protecting the interests of the remaining 27 member states and not on securing privileges for the United Kingdom or creating a soft separation.
While respondents in all nine countries overwhelmingly said the European Union should concentrate on the well-being of the remaining 27 member states, some were more sympathetic to the idea of building a special economic relationship with the United Kingdom than others.
"I certainly don't intend to have no deal or a bad deal", Barnier told MEPs.
The detailed negotiating mandate will be presented for adoption at a European Council summit on 22nd May, pointed out the President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
"This negotiation is now in the hands of our capable divorce lawyers", Juncker told the European Parliament on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France.
The former UKIP leader said such behaviour could force Britain to walk away from Brexit talks before the end of the year, if the European Union failed to start making more "grown-up, reasonable" demands.
Responding to a charge during the debate from Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, that Brussels was trying to "bully" Britain and was seeking 100 billion euros or more in a financial settlement, Barnier warned that Farage's suggestion that Britain should simply walk out without a deal was unwise.
We hope to start [the negotiations] as soon as possible, the day after the election that May has called for 8 June.
Mrs May and her ministerial colleagues have repeatedly claimed no deal is better than a bad deal from the UK's point of view.
The MEP said the European Union needs to make "grown-up, reasonable" demands.
"Now, I've never quoted these figures". It'll also depend on the actual date of the UK's exit.
Among the red lines outlined to MEP is that no negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom can take place before "tangible progress" is made; guarantees on the rights of European citizens affected by the UK's decision to leave the EU; the Northern Ireland peace process must be upheld (including the absence of physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland); and the United Kingdom must respect all the financial commitments made as a member. The European Council has said we're going to work together with the Brits, very calmly, to find an agreement on commitments undertaken.
"It's not (me) who is going to set a figure. We can't spend two years with this farce".