The 3rd Round Of Article 50 Negotiations With The UK

Speech by Michel Barnier at the press conference following the third round of Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.

  • Time is passing quickly and with each day that goes by, we are getting closer to the United Kingdom's withdrawal, on 29 March 2019 at midnight.
  • The fundamental question for which we need an answer is whether on this day, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in an orderly manner, with an agreement, or whether the United Kingdom will leave the European Union with no deal, the consequences of which we have already explained.
  • From our side, we believe that an agreement is the best outcome, as it is in our best common interest.
  • We made real progress on the question of the Common Travel Area, on the basis of guarantees by the United Kingdom, and we clarified, in a constructive manner, what remains to be done, particularly with regards to North-South cooperation in the Good Friday Agreement.
  • We have not made progress on many key areas.
  • Time is passing quickly for us to reach a global agreement.
  • At the current speed, we are far from being able to recommend to the European Council that there has been sufficient progress in order to start discussions on the future relationship, while we are finalising the withdrawal agreement throughout 2018.
  • The UK wants to take back control, it wants to adopt its own standards and regulations. But it also wants to have these standards recognised automatically in the EU. That is what UK papers ask for. This is simply impossible. You cannot be outside the Single Market and shape its legal order.
  • Over the summer, around one hundred EU and EEA citizens living lawfully in the UK received deportation letters. The UK government quickly recognised that this was a mistake. It reinforces the need to ensure that citizens' rights are directly enforceable in front of national jurisdictions, under the control of the European Court of justice, a point on which we disagree today.


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