Last Update 16:20
Friday, 23 August 2019

EU tells incoming British PM Johnson it won't change Brexit terms

Reuters , Tuesday 23 Jul 2019
Views: 567
Views: 567

The European Union on Tuesday congratulated incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson but was firm that it would not heed his election promises of renegotiating Brexit.

The bloc's executive European Commission was willing to work with Johnson, a spokeswoman said, but the limits were clear.

"We look forward to working constructively with PM Johnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit," said the bloc's negotiator of the unprecedented divorce, Michel Barnier.

"We are ready also to rework the agreed declaration on a new partnership," he added, referring to a political declaration that accompanies the legal withdrawal agreement.

Minutes before Johnson's victory was announced in the Conservative Party leadership contest, the Commission's deputy head Frans Timmermans said the EU would not agree to change the deal it had sealed with outgoing British leader Theresa May. That deal was rejected three times by the British parliament.

"The United Kingdom reached an agreement with the European Union and the European Union will stick to that agreement," Timmermans told a news conference. "This is the best deal possible."

Timmermans said the EU would hold the line on Brexit and that Johnson's flamboyant "character or persona or attitude" made no difference.

The EU is bracing for a no-deal Brexit, or another delay to Britain's departure, should Johnson follow through on his promises as Britain's leader.

"We will hear what the new prime minister has to say when he comes to Brussels," Timmermans said, but warned against the most-damaging scenario of the United Kingdom leaving without an agreement in place to manage the fallout.

Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31, with or without a deal.

"A no-deal Brexit, a hard Brexit, would be a tragedy - for all sides, not just for the United Kingdom," Timmermans said. "We are all going to suffer if that happens."

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.