The president of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has put itself at the front of the “operation countdown”. And this Tuesday, same spoke by telephone with the president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, to see first hand the objections raised by Spain at the possible impact of the Treaty on the situation of Gibraltar. Juncker also is scheduled to meet this Wednesday in Brussels, at 17.30, with the british prime minister, Theresa May, in order to probe their past conditions and to prevent the summit from Sunday to burst due to some unforeseen or misunderstanding between the two parties. The meetings for the european side is happen since last Sunday and are advancing in parallel to the process of revising the draft Agreement presented by Barnier and the elaboration of a Declaration on the future relationship with the United Kingdom. Both texts must be approved at the summit. And London has already warned that without a Statement powerful there will be no Agreement.
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Brussels has attempted to close the first front giving virtually final the Agreement with London for the negotiator in chief for europe, Michel Barnier. “I hope that there are too many comments”, suggested the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, after learning of the text agreed upon with London. Tusk has sought to give the appearance that there is nothing to negotiate with the convening of a summit that you want to short and blunt. But complications, as they are about the appointment, are gaining in intensity.
Spain, that during the 20 months of bargaining has given its full support to the team Barnier, began to clean up after the publication last week of the final project Agreement. The criticisms of Madrid have gone to more, and have crystallized in the requirement that it be clarified, in writing, and conclusively, that the status of Gibraltar after Brexit will depend always of a covenant between London and Madrid. “Someone in Brussels bahis has not done his job well,” snapped this Tuesday, Sanchez, in the first open criticism and public to the team of Barnier.
The Spanish Government interprets that article 184 of the departure Agreement puts in doubt that Spain will always have the last word. The Foreign minister, Josep Borrell, has shown to be open to solve the problem with any legal formula, with the modification of the article or with some kind of statement that to overcome the doubts. “I do not mind the instrument, but I want to make it clear that the future of Gibraltar will be negotiated with the agreement of Spain,” said Borrell in Brussels during an event organised by Political.
The European Commission said to be “in the flow” of the objections raised by Spain and said he is open to negotiating to find a way out. But Gibraltar is not the only obstacle that must be overcome to save the Sunday the Agreement.
Several countries, with France at the head, claim to London with a commitment that access will be maintained of the fishing boats european to british waters. United kingdom, now part of the Common Fisheries Policy, has refused to include that area in the departure Agreement.
Paris wants to ensure that the future trade agreement with London will include the possibility to continue fishing in an area that reports to the european fleet more than a million tonnes of fish and seafood per year, with 58% of the catches by european vessels not british. The demand for fishing is also shared by Spain and the Netherlands, among other countries.
The british side also expect claims on the forward-looking statements, in particular, the Deneme Bonusu recognition that the Uk will never be treated as a third country either. And you'll enjoy a privileged access to the security policy and part of the new policy of european defence.
In the next few hours, negotiators should fit all those parts for that in the summit of the Sunday, both the 27 like London to give the green light to put in motion the process of ratification. It is a decision delicate for both parties. For the british prime minister because of the goodness or not of the Agreement and the Declaration will depend on your chances of surviving a vote in Westminster.
And for the europeans, because the summit is the last time that they can exercise a right of veto. Once you have started the ratification, the Agreement would be adopted by a qualified majority of the 27 (with a vote of not less than 20 countries representing at least 65% of the population) and by a majority in the European Parliament. Hence, all delegations to use extreme prudence with the texts that should be supported unanimously this week.
Several delegations, including Spain, have claimed to Barnier clarifications about the so-called backstop or formula of last resort to avoiding a physical frontier between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The solution agreed by Barnier with the Government in May provides for the establishment of a customs union between the Uk and the EU until you find another better solution or achieve a trade agreement.
Spain and other countries reluctant fear that during that period the United Kingdom enjoy an access to almost total the european market without the need to comply with its obligations. London has offered certain assurances that no will deselect the relevant community legislation (environment, labour market) but several capitals want to strengthen those commitments. And the same delegations are troubled by the limited role granted to the european Court of Justice in the resolution of the potential conflict between London and Brussels during the term of the customs union.
Doubts about the transitional period
The transient period of the output (between the 30 of march 2019 and 31 December 2020) also raises doubts on the european side. The Agreement Barnier suggests the possibility of an extension of this period (during which nothing changes for citizens and businesses) a one-time, in the event that they get to 2021 without a trade agreement.
Spain, among other delegations, he wants the extension to be a maximum of one year, not to prolong the legal uncertainty. But Barnier prefer a term more flexible at least two years, to have room to maneuver in the event that the negotiation of a future trade agreement is simple. It should be recalled that the recent agreement signed by the EU with Canada, negotiated for seven years. Sources of the Commission is hoping that London would be faster because the Uk has belonged to the EU for more than 40 years, and its legislation is aligned with the european one. But other sources alsoep warn that the agreement sought by the Uk is much more ambitious than any other signed up now by the Union.