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European Council: heading towards Brexit. “Negative economic consequences for the UK”

(Brussels) The European Council “welcomes the agreement reached by the negotiators on parts of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement covering citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, a number of other withdrawal issues and the transition”. This is stated in the Conclusions of the European Council which addressed the issue of Brexit this morning. The Council “recalls that other issues still require agreement and negotiations can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken so far are respected in full, and welcomes in this respect Prime Minister May’s written assurances notably regarding Ireland/Northern Ireland”. It “calls for intensified efforts on the remaining withdrawal issues as well as issues related to the territorial application of the Withdrawal Agreement, notably as regards Gibraltar, and reiterates that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. The European Council “restates the Union’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the UK in the future. Such a partnership should cover trade and economic cooperation as well as other areas, in particular the fight against terrorism and international crime, as well as security, defence and foreign policy”.
The section devoted to Brexit takes up 6 pages in the Summit’s Conclusions. It reads: “At the same time, the European Council has to take into account the repeatedly stated positions of the UK, which limit the depth of such a future partnership. Being outside the Customs Union and the Single Market will inevitably lead to frictions in trade. Divergence in external tariffs and internal rules as well as absence of common institutions and a shared legal system, necessitates checks and controls to uphold the integrity of the EU Single Market as well as of the UK market. This unfortunately will have negative economic consequences, in particular in the United Kingdom”.

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