There are no reasons for optimism in Brussels, where the heads of states and governments are meeting for the European Union Summit on March 21-22: there is hardly anyone who believes that the Westminster will endorse Theresa May‘s Article 50 Agreement.
In absence of any changes in the text of the negotiated for two years deal itself, it is only context that changes, the perception of losses endorsing the deal, or preferring no-deal damages.However it is unlikely the MPs will change their minds, vote for the Agreement they have rejected two times already.
“On the Brexit, we need to be clear about ourselves, our British friends and our peoples. The withdrawal agreement cannot be renegotiated. In case of a British negative vote, we would go to a no-deal” explains Emmanuel Macron. At his arrival to the #EUCO the President ensured that France is ready for no-deal scenario, and will support enterprises, especially small businesses, but also fishery.
However in case the Westminster decides to accept May’s deal next week, the EU is ready to extend the Brexit deadline to 22 May, a day before the European elections vote will start. The top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said, while arriving to the Council, that a short extension can be only “conditional”.
Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament expressed his solidarity with the families and victims of the Utrecht shooting, naming it “violence“, however without references to terrorism. (Image: Utrecht, The Netherlands).
Manfred Weber (Germany, EPP) the leader of the European People’s Party, and the candidate for the position of the European Commission president, also avoided to mention terrorist trace.
Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the European Parliament Liberals (Belgium, ALDE), expressed his intention to “defeat hatred” by standing “strong together and defending our values”, without mentioning radical Islamic terrorism.
Meanwhile the manhunt is on the way in Utrecht, the Turkish born assailant is at large, leaving behind three dead and five wounded. There are strong indications of terrorist attack, Dutch police claims.
The police asks you to look out for the 37 year old Gökman Tanis (born in Turkey) associated with the incident this morning at the in .
Do not approach Gökman Tanis but call 0800-6070
Three people were killed and nine others injured in a shooting in a tram in Dutch University city of #Utrecht, the mayor said, Dutch broadcaster NOS reported.
Police said they were looking for a 37-year-old man of Turkish origin identified as Gokmen Tanis.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission expressed his solidarity with Dutch people during this difficult times in a telephone conversation with Prime minister Mark Rutte.
AMENDED: Five injured, but not nine, Utrecht police informed via Twitter micro blog.
After the Article 50 deal was voted done, the entire Brexit situation entered ‘uncharted waters‘ exactly the way British Prime Minister Theresa May warned, and the latest Westminster request for departure delay made the it even more complicated.
From the legal point of view the delay could be granted by the EU until the day of the European elections: in case the UK is still a member-state of the bloc, it is oblige to participate, because the Treaty clearly stipulates the right of citizens to elect and be elected to the European Parliament. Being de jure a member-state Britain would be forced by the power of its international obligations to enter the process. There is also concern about “hijacking” the elections, and intoxicating the European debate with UK protracted political argument.
There is also a word in Brussels corridors of power, that Italy might decline the long-term delay out of solidarity with the Brexiteers, and French President Emmanuel Macron wouldn’t sacrifice his ‘Renaissance‘ big plan, leaving Europe hostage to Westminster ongoing polemics.
However in case of the rejection of the delay the British government can appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), winning time while the CURIA interprets the EU law, and settles a legal dispute between national government and the EU Council.
And nobody said that the Brexiteers will sit and cry, looking how their chances to have a ‘neat break’ from the EU evaporate.
Regarding the fact that CURIA can be addressed by individuals, companies or organisations to take action against a EU institution (s), if they presume it has infringed their rights, the Brexiteers also have right to appeal to the judges, looking for realization of their government promises.
It looks CURIA will be not short of work in both cases: if Brexit stays, or if it deciedes to lave.
Anna van Densky OPINION The European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT (Belgium, ALDE) cancelled his press-conference, so did his major ally – Esteban GONZALES-PONS (Spain EPP). There are no traces of optimism in the corridors of power in spite of British Prime Minister Theresa MAY the last minute spontaneous visit to Strasbourg, attempting to obtain compromises on the Article 50 Agreement.
However the legally-binding interpretations of Brexit deal will be hardly enough to convince the Westminster to accept it in tonight’s vote.
In case of voting down the Article 50 Agreement the relations between the EU and UK will be entering the uncharted waters, as Prime Minister May has stated already. The extension of the deadline (March 29) is possible in the framework of the agreed Brexit only to avoid legal vacuum. The Remainers already threaten to sue their government in the European Court (CURIA) for breaching the Article 50, which clearly describes the timetable, and does not foresee any prolongations.
Originally there were two fixed deadlines: Brexit date on March 29, and the latest date of its possible extension on May 24 (European elections), before which the UK should leave, or it is obliged to participate, according to the Treaties to ensure the right of the citizens to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. In any case the status of the incumbent MEPs could not be extended beyond July 2, when the newly elected Parliament will be constituted.
However there are very few politicians eager to model possible developments in case tonight of House of Commons will vote down the deal. It will be not only the downfall for Theresa May, and her government, but also considered as a major failure for the EU27 to secure orderly Brexit, preserving from blow economies, jobs, and citizens rights. The failure will certainly reflect on upcoming European elections disfavoring predominant political forces, unable to preserve mutually beneficial relations with one of major European economies.