The freshly appointed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ready to do anything to rush Brexit, including by favouring the scenario of an exit from the EU without agreement.
Freshly installed at 10 Downing Street, the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hastily laid down on Thursday, July 25, 2019 his conditions for a new agreement to leave the European Union, requests deemed “unacceptable” by the negotiator of the EU Michel Barnier.
“The withdrawal agreement was rejected three times. (…) Its terms are unacceptable for this parliament and this country, “said Boris Johnson during his first address to the British deputies, the day after taking office.
In particular, the Conservative leader called for the “abolition” of the Irish “safety net”, intended to prevent the return of border controls between the British province of Northern Ireland and its neighbor the Republic of Ireland, otherwise agitating the threat of an exit without agreement.
“Unacceptable,” retorted EU negotiator Michel Barnier, ostensibly using the same vocabulary as Boris Johnson. “A lack of agreement will never be the choice of the EU, but we must all be ready for all scenarios,” he added.
[À la une à 18h]Les demandes de modifications de l’accord de divorce formulées par le Premier ministre britannique Boris Johnson sont “inacceptables” et l’UE doit se préparer à une sortie du Royaume-Uni sans accord, a averti le négociateur de l’UE Michel Barnier #AFP pic.twitter.com/P3ou9oFCIf
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) 25 July 2019
Priority to the preparations for the “no deal”
EU leaders have repeatedly said they will not reopen the November divorce deal with Theresa May , forced to resign after the rejection of the text by British MPs. On the other hand, they are open to changing the political declaration attached to the withdrawal agreement, which lays the foundation for the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit.
The agreement is “the best and the only possible,” said Thursday by telephone the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker during their first interview. The two leaders exchanged their mobile numbers and agreed to stay in touch, said his spokesman
“The Commission will remain available in the coming weeks if the UK wants to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail,” she said.
But the Europeans are no longer much illusions. “Boris Johnson gives priority to the planning of the + no deal +, partly to put pressure on the unity of the EU27,” warned Michel Barnier.
“In front of Boris Johnson, you have to be firm. If we want to force his hand, we must prepare for the + no deal +, show that we are not afraid, “assured a European official on condition of anonymity.
“I would prefer that we leave the EU with an agreement,” Boris Johnson assured, even though he announced that he had asked Michael Gove, his right-hand man in the government, to prepare the “no deal”, synonymous inter alia return border controls, a “top priority”.
Whatever happens, he has promised to get his country out of the EU by October 31, to make the UK “the most awesome place in the world”, sweeping pessimistic predictions in case of ” no deal “.
“Our children and grandchildren will live longer, happier, healthier and richer,” he said. He also guaranteed that EU nationals living in the UK could stay in the country.
He has not yet settled down on Downing Street, where he is expected to move in with his 31-year-old mate, Carrie Symonds, but as soon as he comes to power, Boris Johnson announced the colour by getting rid of a very the team of Theresa May, and by appointing to key positions of “Brexiters” as Dominic Raab, 45, who inherited diplomacy, Priti Patel, 47, new Minister of the Interior, or Jacob Rees-Mogg , 50, in charge of relations with Parliament.
Labor chief opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has denounced a “hard-right government” and warned that his party would oppose any Brexit agreement that does not protect jobs, workers’ rights and the rule of law. ‘environment.
He called for a protest on Thursday night to call for early parliamentary elections, saying Boris Johnson, elected by conservative activists alone, does not represent all Britons.
The possibility of such a ballot is unlikely, however, John Curtice, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, estimating in the Telegraph that it would be a “terrible mistake for the Tories” in view of polls, which they are not very favourable.
In addition to the opposition, Boris Johnson will also have to rely on resistance in parliament (where he has only a two-vote majority, including elected officials from his Northern Irish ally DUP) of conservative politicians in favour of maintaining ties. with the EU. Thus, former Finance Minister Philip Hammond announced that he was ready for “everything” to prevent a Brexit without agreement.
The First Minister of Scotland, where a large majority of voters voted against the departure of the EU, asked Boris Johnson to propose to his province an “alternative option” to his Brexit projects. Nicola Sturgeon, who also heads the SNP nationalist party, said the Scottish parliament would consider legislation in the coming months to allow for a referendum on its independence.