The European Union “does not let itself be intimidated by threats” when negotiating Brexit, warned the European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday 15th March referring to a possible divorce without agreement between London and Brussels.
“I want to be clear about the fact that a scenario of ‘no agreement’ would be bad for everyone, especially for the UK”, said Tusk at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg.
“We will not let ourselves be intimidated by threats“, added the President of the European Council, the institution bringing together the leaders of 28 EU countries at regular summits.
We will not be intimidated by threats that no #Brexit deal is good for UK & bad for EU. No deal bad for everyone, above all for UK.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 15, 2017
According to Tusk, the idea that “no agreement on the output would be good for the United Kingdom and bad for the EU” takes “increasingly the form of threats” .
In a speech in January, the British Prime Minister Theresa May warned against any attempt to impose an exit agreement which is “punitive” on the UK, saying it would be a “calamitous act” of by the EU which “is detrimental to itself” .
“Better no agreement than a bad agreement “, she argued.
Theresa May also stressed that in the absence of satisfactory trade agreement with the EU, London is free to “change the foundations of the British economic model”. “And we would have the freedom to set competitive tax rate”, she had developed, waving the threat of fiscal dumping.
“We’re not trying to threaten anyone”, reacted the British Minister of Brexit David Davis on Wednesday after the statements of Mr. Tusk.
“We try to make sure we get something that is in the interest of all” , he has said.
Mr. Davis had assured on Sunday that the British government was preparing “all possible outcomes” for future negotiations with Brussels.
Before MEPs, Donald Tusk assured that the aim of the Europeans was “having a smooth divorce and a good framework for the future. And it is good to know that the Prime Minister Theresa May shares this point of view “, he added.
Mrs May has pledged to launch by the end of March the start of Brexit with the issuing of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which governs the exit procedure from the EU of a country.
This step will launch negotiations between London and Brussels for an agreement governing the terms of the release, which could also outline what will be the future relationship with London.
The most sensitive point of the exit agreement will invoice to be paid by the United Kingdom to honor the budget commitments already made. According to a senior European official, the Commission assessed between 55 and 60 billion euros the total amount.
“The EU’s door will always remain open to our British friends” , on Wednesday promised Tusk.