From last October 2 to October 6, a plenary session took place in the European Parliament to determine, among others, if the United Kingdom could move to the second step of the negotiations on the European Council of October 19-20.
During last October plenary session, many subjects have been discussed such as the vote on a European Public Prosecutor on cybercrime, the use by Turkey of the Interpol arrest warrants, the preparation of the COP 23 or the draft resolution on carbon neutrality. But the session was specially to determine if the United Kingdom was ready to get one step further in the Brexit negotiations.
Difficulties follow one another for Theresa May who has to reconcile both the requirements of the European Union and the ones of the “hard Brexit” supporters. Last Wednesday in Manchester, her speech at the annual Congress of her conservative party turned into a nightmare with the intervention of an actor giving her a fictitious dismissal letter supposedly from Boris Johnson, who advocates for a hard Brexit.
One could believe that this internal opposition would bring Theresa May closer to the European Union, but it doesn’t. Michel Barnier chief negotiator Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 TEU, considers that the progress of the United Kingdom is still insufficient in three key areas: the financial settlement of the divorce, the lot of the expatriate and the consequences of the Brexit for Ireland. Indeed, the British are particularly under pressure concerning the rights of the citizens. London and Brussels cannot agree on the future role of the European Court of Justice on this topic. Regarding the financial obligations of the United Kingdom toward the EU, they don’t have to give figures but to agree on a method of calculating, which is far from complete. And all that should be made of course in compliance with the legislation of the European Union and through concrete proposals from the British government.
Insufficient progress has also been observed by the European parliament through a resolution on October 3 (557 voices in favour, 92 against et 29 abstentions). And without meaningful progress in these areas in October, the United Kingdom would not reach the long-awaited next step of the negotiation!
A new round of negotiations starts this week, would it enable relevant advance? Jean-Claude Junker him-self does not believe it and a preparation of a Brexit without agreement begins…