On January 1, 2020, Great Britain will leave the EU for good. This can no longer be shaken, Brexit is coming. Negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom are still about how it comes. Will there be a deal, trade and security agreements for the time after leaving the EU? Or no deal, hard borders and hard trade guidelines – and thus high costs, especially for the British, but also for the EU.
According to the current status of the negotiations, a so-called no-deal is most likely. The EU insists that Great Britain should not have the same rights as a member of the Union without being a member of the EU. She insists on the withdrawal agreement signed in 2019. And Britain? Wants to break with this and international law.
The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched an “internal market law” that is intended to change the 2019 exit treaty with the EU in key points. It is mainly about special rules for the British Northern Ireland, which should prevent a hard border with the EU state Ireland. The Johnson administration openly admitted in parliament that the “Single Market Act” would break international law.
And thus made Andreas Michaelis, the German ambassador in London, forget himself for a moment on Twitter.
“Never before experienced such a comprehensive and deliberate destruction of negotiations”
Michaelis, who has many years of experience in the Federal Foreign Office, reacted extremely undiplomatically to the Johnson affront for a diplomat. “In more than 30 years as a diplomat, I have never seen negotiations so extensive and deliberate destruction,” tweeted Michaelis. “If, like me, you believe in a partnership between the EU and Great Britain, then don’t accept it.”
The “Times” journalist Francis Elliott reported that Michaelis was quoted by the British Foreign Office for a “conversation without coffee” in order to explain himself.
Michaelis confirmed this on Friday on Twitter. “I can attest to that myself [Brexit-Chefverhändler] David Frost called for a meeting at the State Department today. During a friendly conversation, of which we have had many, he asked me to explain the content and context of my tweet. And that’s what I did – we want the negotiations to be successful. ”
“Johnson wants to show off the EU”
Michaelis thus reflects the position of the EU, which – like the German ambassador – is losing patience with Great Britain. It has given the Johnson administration 20 days to withdraw the “Internal Market Act” and the related violation of law. However, there is not much hope for a good outcome to the negotiations.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier and Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic briefed MEPs on Friday afternoon and, according to participants, drew a gloomy balance sheet. Left Brexit expert Martin Schirdewan then told the German press agency: “The probability of a no-deal has risen again.” Johnson wanted to demonstrate the EU. “From my point of view, this is part of a no-deal strategy that consultants in the Johnson environment prefer anyway.”
Study shows which 10 countries would suffer most from a hard Brexit – Germany is right in the middle
jg / With material from the dpa