The Ministers of European Affairs of the 27 EU countries gathered in the General Affairs Council supported the draft withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The European Affairs Ministers from the EU countries meeting in Brussels on Monday supported the draft withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union in late March 2019. Several ministers underscored that the agreement must be ratified by both sides and it could not be the object of renegotiation.The EU’s Brexit chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the draft Brexit deal reached with London was “fair and balanced”, as the bloc haggled with Britain over any extension to the envisaged transition period, due in late 2020.
Attending the Brussels meeting, Romanian European Affairs Minister, George Ciamba hailed the special efforts made by the EU chief negotiator and his team for a balanced agreement to be reached, equitable for both sides. The Romanian Minister argued that the withdrawal agreement was the most efficient instrument of curtailing the negative follow-ups of Brexit, highlighting the importance of securing the legal status of citizens and the business environment. He said that the agreement would guarantee the protection of the rights of all European citizens settled in Great Britain, as well as of the British nationals settled in the EU countries before December 31, 2020.
Minister Ciamba recalled that Great Britain was further an important partner of the EU and of Romania, particularly in terms of cooperation in the field of security, defense and foreign policy. The draft withdrawal agreement has 585 pages, over 400 chapters and three protocols. The agreement sets out all the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May got the support of her cabinet to the Brexit deal, more than two years after the British electorate had stood for Brexit as part of a referendum.
There are still divergent views on the date the transition phase might end; the issue must be solved by the EU summit due on Sunday. This is also the deadline for a document on the EU’s future relationship with Great Britain to be finalized. On Monday, Theresa May said again she was determined to have the British Parliament pass the draft withdrawal agreement. Mrs. May’s task is not an easy one: she is confronted with the opposition of a large political spectrum, including the prospect of her change as prime minister.