Minister Delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba attended a new General Affairs (Art.50) Council meeting on Tuesday, in Luxembourg, in which the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, presented the latest developments in the Brexit process, as well as his assessment of the prospects for the negotiations to move towards an agreement that would allow an orderly withdrawal and which could be supported by the European leaders.
According to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) sent to AGERPRES, "the EU objective remains the conclusion of the negotiations and the presentation of a consolidated legal text at the European Council (Article 50) meeting of October 17".
Despite the short time left for negotiations, shows the quoted source, "it is still possible to reach an agreement that would allow the orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU". Otherwise, possible options regarding future steps will be analyzed at the European Council (Article 50) meeting.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European official said that the proposals of the British side to replace the backstop mechanism present a number of problematic elements regarding customs issues and the lack of immediate operational character of the solutions for the Irish border. Michel Barnier showed that the discussions took place in a constructive manner, and a series of positive developments that could possibly allow the finalization of the legal text until the European Council (Article 50) meeting were registered.
Minister Delegate George Ciamba welcomed the efforts of the chief negotiator and his team to identify a compromise solution that would meet the objectives of the backstop mechanism. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Romanian official expressed concern over the short time for recording substantial progress towards the conclusion of the negotiations, while highlighting the need for further discussions at technical and political level.
At the same time, Ciamba reiterated the firm commitment of the European Union and implicitly of Romania to ensuring an orderly withdrawal, by agreement, which will have to respect the principles agreed at EU level, in particular the respect of the Internal Market integrity. He added that the risk of a "no deal" scenario is maintained and stressed the importance of continuing internal training in this regard, says the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the same time, George Ciamba emphasized "the need to maintain the unity of the EU27 and to define a coherent and coordinated approach to respond to the latest developments".
The Romanian official stressed the importance of protecting the rights of European citizens and, implicitly, of the Romanian ones in the United Kingdom, points out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Romanian ministry, "it is essential to ensure a reciprocal and non-discriminatory treatment for EU27 citizens living in the United Kingdom, in any of the possible scenarios (orderly withdrawal or 'no deal')".
The Minister Delegate for European Affairs added that it is important "to ensure a level of protection of the rights of citizens similar to the one in the draft of the November 2018 Withdrawal Agreement".
By the end of September this year, 280,600 Romanian citizens had already registered for the new status (pre-settled and settled status). Figures released by the British side, based on official estimates of the number of citizens of the EU member states who live, work and study in the UK, show that approximately 64pct of Romanian citizens have applied for registration through the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS), being the second most numerous community of European citizens having applied for registration, indicates the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since the beginning of the Brexit process, the top priority assumed by the Romanian Government "has been to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Romanian citizens who live, work or study in the United Kingdom", shows the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this regard, "strong assurances have been obtained from the British Government regarding the need to safeguard the status of European citizens in the United Kingdom in any circumstances, including in the event of a withdrawal without agreement".
"The Government of Romania maintains a permanent dialogue with both the British authorities, as well as with the European institutions and the member states, in order to ensure the most comprehensive monitoring of the implementation of the commitments assumed regarding the rights of citizens," MAE emphasizes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages all Romanian citizens who wish to remain in the United Kingdom after the date of this state's withdrawal from the EU to register as soon as possible and to resort to the support of the Romanian Embassy in London and the Romanian Consulates General of Manchester and Edinburgh for additional assistance.