Minister-delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba chaired on Tuesday in Luxembourg a new meeting of the General Affairs Council (Art. 50), organised under the aegis of Romania's Presidency at the EU Council, context in which he tackled several scenarios regarding Brexit.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) release sent to AGERPRES, the Romanian dignitary mentioned that the member states and the European Union "have thoroughly prepared for the possibility of a disorderly withdrawal, by adopting the necessary contingency measures in order to limit the disruptive effect of this scenario."
Ciamba brought to mind the substantial progresses achieved by the Romanian Presidency in adopting the preparation and contingency measures in a situation of UK's no-deal withdrawal.
Within the meeting of the General Affairs Council (Art. 50), the Romanian dignitary presented the latest developments registered in the Brexit process, marked by a new negative vote of the British Parliament regarding the withdrawal agreement, as well as the the British Legislature's rejection of the alternative versions regarding the possible EU-UK cooperation formulas post-Brexit.
Furthermore, he assessed the possibility of an additional extension of the period stipulated by article 50 and argued that a decision in this regard will entail political and economic costs for the Union. Equally, he mentioned that the European Union remains firmly committed in ensuring an orderly withdrawal of the UK and reiterated the availability to amend the Political Declaration in view of reflecting a superior level of ambition regarding the future partnership between the two sides.
The Ministers for European Affairs had a substantial exchange of views regarding the current available options, as well as the necessary conditions to grant an additional extension of art.50, the MAE release informs.
Ciamba showed that a decision in this regard will be adopted by the European leaders unanimously, after a thorough analysis of the British Government, taking into account the necessity to safeguard the strategic interests of the Union.
Moreover, the quoted source shows that the official mentioned that any extension cannot entail the re-opening of the withdrawal agreement or the negotiation of future relations.
At the same time, the commitment to organise the elections to the European Parliament by the UK represents an essential pre-condition for adopting a decision in favour of an additional extension.
George Ciamba reiterated "the necessity to present a concrete, credible plan by the UK's Government, as well as the purpose for which it could use a possible extension." He voiced hope that the cross-party dialogue be materialised in a solution of compromise which would allow the advancement of the process.
"The letter of the British Prime Minister includes a welcomed commitment regarding the organisation of European elections in the situation of extending art. 50 which exceeds 22 May. In order to decide on a possible extension, the EU leaders will need more clarity from London," George Ciamba pointed out, as quoted in the release.
The Romanian official reiterated the major priority of Romania's Presidency at the EU Council on keeping the EU27 unity and defining a coherent and coordinated approach to respond to the latest developments.
Prior to the meeting of the General Affairs Council (Art. 50), the Romanian European Affairs Minister carried out a session of consultations with European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom's Exit from the European Union Michael Barnier.