Sunday, February 12, 2017

Junker casts doubts on EU solidarity - unity in Brexit talks

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his concerns whether the European Union will remain united during Brexit negotiations, Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio reported on Saturday.

In the radio program set to air on Sunday, Junker said he fears the coming Brexit talks might easily "divide the other 27 member states without great effort".

He explained that the British people know pretty well how to manage the negotiations, and might promise "country A this, and country B that, and country C something else" thus disrupting the cohesion of the EU.

  • He also added that as for now Britain cannot negotiate trade deals since it's still a member of EU, and its trade policy is within the competence of the European Commission. 

Juncker's words were seen as a forewarning after the British House of Commons passed the Brexit bill days before, empowering Britain's prime minister Theresa May to trigger the formal process of Britain leaving the EU.
***By the end of March Britain will trigger formal divorce talks with the EU, a major test for the bloc which is struggling to have a grip on other challenges like keeping Greece in the eurozone, the refugee crisis and the election of Donald Trump as US president.

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