Brexit: The signals are not reassuring, says P.M. Michel

Friday, 14 December 2018 13:56
Brexit: The signals are not reassuring, says P.M. Michel © Belga
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has said he is not optimistic about the chances of the Brexit deal being approved by the British parliament.
“The signals we received yesterday are not especially reassuring on Great Britain’s capacity to honour the commitment made,” he said in Brussels, arriving for the second day of a European summit.

“We are going to make sure we prepare for all hypotheses, including that of a no-deal,” he said. There is "a real chance” of that happening, he added, explaining that a hard Brexit would have consequences for customs, companies, the economy and citizens.

The issue is scheduled to be on the agenda of a consultative committee next week. “We are going to take initiatives with the federated entities and the minister of foreign affairs to prepare for that,” he said.

British prime minister Theresa May assured the 27 remaining EU states on Thursday that the Brexit deal could be approved in Parliament if she obtained assurances that the United Kingdom would not be tied indefinitely to the European bloc.  

However, her explanations do not appear to have convinced Michel, who feels that “there is huge uncertainty” about the possibility of the House of Commons approving the agreement.

According to a European source, the atmosphere on Thursday evening at the discussion on Brexit was “very bad”. “Theresa May was incapable of formulating what she wants” and was regularly interrupted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel asking her exactly what she was expecting, the source said.

Maria Novak
The Brussels Times
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