Today, March 14, Minister for European Affairs George Ciamba met with the Chief Negotiator of the European Union on Brexit, Michel Barnier, in Bucharest.
The two senior officials analysed the current state of the Brexit process 15 days before the expected date of United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, in the aftermath of the latest developments marked by the negative outcome of the British Parliament’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement.
The minister for European affairs brought to the attention of the chief negotiator of the European Union the importance of ensuring the rights of Romanian citizens in the United Kingdom in the context of a “no-deal” Brexit. The Romanian official conveyed that this is a priority for the Romanian Government. He noted that the government in Bucharest is making sure that the rights of British citizens in Romania are respected.
The two dignitaries stressed that the European Union has made every possible effort to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement in time, stating that currently it is waiting for concrete proposals from UK’s Government and Parliament regarding the plans that the country is considering in order to overcome the current stalemate. The two officials reiterated the EU’s common position that the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement is the only possible agreement and the best tool to mitigate the impact of the Brexit process.
Minister George Ciamba pointed out that the risk of a disorderly withdrawal of Britain from the EU, without an agreement, on March 29, 2019, is higher and higher, although neither party wants that risk to be materialised.
In this respect, the Romanian official stated that it is essential, for both the European Union and the Member States, to make accelerated progress towards adopting all contingency measures that could ensure that they are prepared for any scenario.
The minister made clear that a possible extension of the withdrawal deadline could be taken into account by the European Council following a formal request from the British Government.
The Romanian dignitary assured the chief negotiator of Romania’s full support in this final stage of the Brexit process, especially from the perspective of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council. In his turn, Michel Barnier praised the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council as one of the best performing, welcoming the outcomes achieved over a short time.