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President Iohannis: Probability of Brexit without agreement, very low

Klaus Iohannis cotroceni

The probability of a Brexit without concluding an agreement with the UK is very low, President Iohannis stated on Tuesday at Cotroceni Presidential Palace. 

"Much is being said about the 'hard' Brexit, but nobody wants something like that. The probability of a 'hard' Brexit is very low. (...) Politically, we do not want this scenario. The 'hard' no-deal Brexit is not wanted by anyone, either by the UK, or the 27," President Klaus Iohannis said at the end of the meeting with the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, on an official visit to Romania. 

"So, I believe the probability of a 'hard' Brexit is actually very low because everybody realizes that a 'hard' Brexit doesn't mean these complex talks are over and everyone minds his own business. That would mean that these very complicated talks become even more complicated and politically, we do not wish for such a scenario. Obviously, certain discussions could take place, certain scenarios could be carried out but the 'hard' Brexit, namely a no-agreement Brexit is not wished by anybody, be they the UK or the EU27. And it would look rather risky that now all of the 27 or 28 commence to prepare for a 'hard' Brexit, if we don't want it. We make ourselves ready for more intense talks, perhaps more flexible, very thorough talks, in any case, so that we find the best solution to finalise this Brexit," the Romanian president said at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after a private meeting with the visiting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. 

The president stressed that solutions must be found for the issues that will occur after the Brexit. 

"The Brexit, that interests and affects us all, and which for Ireland has specific aspects, there are specific complications, in particular the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, obviously, alongside many other matters. We have tackled these issues and we both believe that solutions should be found to the problems surfacing following the Brexit. Romania has supported from the very beginning the position of Ireland that a special, positive solution must be found here, and we further back it," Iohannis said. 

He stated that a return to the "tough" border, physical border respectively, between Ireland and Northern Ireland is impossible. 

"It is an additional argument for us as well to insist upon a negotiation with a good outcome and not upon something with no outcome. I don't believe it will come to a no-deal Brexit," Iohannis added. 

In his turn, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar emphasized that the odds of a no-agreement Brexit are small, but added that this scenario must be taken into account. 

I think it is a real risk. We must take it seriously. And yet I believe we could come to some agreements. I'd say it is a very strong probability that proper agreements will be met in October. This is what everybody wants in both United Kingdom and the European Union. The odds of a 'hard' Brexit are small currently, but obviously they must be taken into account and we must be ready for such an outcome, Premier Leo Varadkar said. 

He mentioned that Ireland is preparing for such a scenario and that in this context it diversifies its exports. 

We make sure we have access to all kinds of credit lines. We solve matters with respect to agriculture and several such things. Likewise, even in the preparation for the after-Brexit period, we will multiply our efforts, but in order to make sure that a financial agreement and an accord for the rights of the European citizens and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be met. We cannot accept in Ireland a "tough" border, as they say. The entire transition period might be necessary to negotiate the final blueprint of some new treaties - economic and of security and so on - these treaties will potentially be ratified by the parliaments of all member states. Therefore, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. As for those negotiations, this is one additional reason for us to make sure we have an exit treaty, an agreement regarding the Brexit, properly completed in the present, the Irish Premier said.

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