Ahead of brexit negotiations, the european union and great britain are on a confrontation course. The 27 remaining EU states rallied behind their common position in rare unity at a special summit over the weekend, but got a rebuff in london.
Prime minister theresa may opposes the EU’s core demands. The EU commission is therefore very skeptical about the talks, which are to begin after the british parliamentary elections in june.
German chancellor angela merkel and her eu colleagues at the brussels summit on saturday said they were delighted that they had reached unanimous agreement on their guidelines within a matter of minutes. We want to speak with one voice," said merkel afterwards. This does not mean, however, that one is against grobbritannien verbunde. A united eu is also favorable for the british government.
In its guidelines, the EU calls for an initial phase in which only the terms of separation are discussed . These include the future rights of EU citizens in the UK, london’s financial obligations to its existing EU partners and the border between EU member ireland and the UK’s northern ireland. Only when the EU unanimously agrees that sufficient progress has been made should the free trade agreement may wants be put on the agenda.
May rejected this sequence again on the BBC on sunday and reiterated the call to negotiate the EU exit and the trade deal at the same time. Negotiations could be partially zah, she warned. It still prefers not to have a withdrawal agreement with the EU than to have a bad one. This means that british membership of the EU will end abruptly in march 2019, without any transitional arrangements, which is particularly worrying for the economy.
The EU commission sees the probability of this scenario at more than 50 percent, reported the "frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung". The background to the gloomy forecast is a conversation between commission president jean-claude juncker and may last wednesday. EU circles confirmed to the german press agency that juncker said afterwards: "i leave downing street ten times more skeptical than i was before."
May had shown no willingness to compromise. Among other things, she had expressed the view that the UK would not owe any money to its EU partners after it leaves the EU. EU side, on the other hand, expects to pay up to 60 billion euros. Juncker had informed merkel of the impression, who then warned in the bundestag on thursday against "illusions" in great britain.
But on the BBC on sunday, may raised hopes of a swift agreement on the question of future rights for 3.2 million EU citizens in the UK and 1.2 million britons in the EU. This is also the first top issue for the EU, as council president donald tusk said: "as soon as britain gives real guarantees for our citizens, we will quickly find a solution."According to the "FAS", may suggested to juncker that a solution be found as early as the EU summit in june.
On the EU side, there is little criticism of the tough line taken in negotiations with london. SPD candidate for chancellor martin schulz also told "bild am sonntag": "it is good that there are to be no special rights for great britain."