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EU27 prepare for Brexit ‘no-deal’ scenario

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The success of the Brexit talks between the EU and the UK are under serious threat according to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier. 

Speaking to reports as he arrived to the summit, Barnier said, “On Brexit we have made progress, but huge and serious divergence remains, particularly on Ireland and Northern Ireland."

“After Brexit, we want an EU-UK ambitious partnership on trade as well as security. But we have to base this partnership on our values and principles respecting also the UK red lines."

“That means for us integrity of the single market, indivisibility of the four freedoms, autonomy and the decision-making of the EU, and the protection and respect of the fundamental rights of EU citizens.”

Shortly after Barnier’s comments, the EU27 leaders jointly signed a statement declaring serious concerns about the UK’s lack of progress regarding the Northern Irish border. They are hoping that Theresa May’s eagerly awaited white paper will contain a workable solution to the issue. Northern Ireland was not the only area that required more work. EU leaders expressed concern surrounding the issue of Gibraltar. 

Security

Addressing EU leaders yesterday, Theresa May tackled the area of EU cooperation with non-members. May asked for more flexibility to be given to Michel Barnier to allow him to go beyond the current levels of cooperation. She highlighted the EU’s resistance to deep cooperation with non-members, suggesting that it was jeopardising the lives of citizens.   

May requested that fellow EU leaders should allow the UK to continue to take part in schemes such as the Prum mechanism for sharing DNA profiles, the Second Generation Schengen Information System, and the European Criminal Records Information System. She suggested that by omitting the UK from such schemes, it would reduce their collective ability to fight terrorism.

However, due to the fact that the UK wants to leave the European Court of Justice and free movement rules, Michel Barnier argued that the UK cannot, therefore, remain a part of some policing agreements post Brexit.

White Paper

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Theresa May has promised to publish a white paper on her vision for the future trading relationship after a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Barnier said: “Now we are waiting for the UK white paper and I hope it will contain workable and realistic proposals but let me mention once again that the time is very short...”

Come back on Monday

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It is understood that the Commission had asked the UK leaders for additional talks next Monday and that UK officials had informed the EU Commission that they would not partake. However, they were issued with a second invite, this time from Michel Barnier, and this time in front of the press. 

"The time is very short. We want a deal and are working for a deal, the time is short and I am ready to invite the UK delegation to come back to Brussels next Monday." - EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.

With time against them, the UK cabinet has been called together by Theresa May for a ‘make or break’ meeting at Chequers on July 06th in an effort to establish a workable blueprint for the UK’s future with the EU. Hopefully, we will have some clarity next week.

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