Necessary steps must be taken to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Nicosia stresses

The EU27 will consider moving the Brexit cut off date but not after the European elections, and conditional to the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement, Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromos said, in statements to the press in Brussels on the sidelines of the European Council meeting.

“The position of the Cypriot government is that, even now, the necessary steps must be taken, in a conciliatory way, to ensure what the British Government asks for and also to have an agreement with a view to avoid unwanted and unpredictable consequences of a withdrawal without an agreement,” he said.

More specifically, the Government Spokesman noted in his statement that “the President of the Republic participates in the European Council held at a critical juncture, and the issue prevailing in the works of the EU leaders Summit is the UKs withdrawal from the EU, Brexit.”

“There are of course two other issues on the agenda, but as far as Brexit is concerned, there has been a request for an extension by UK Prime Minister Mrs May in relation to the predetermined date of withdrawal which is 29 March”, he said, noting that this “cannot be until the end of June, and this is due to the European elections.”

“It is being considered to have a prolongation, not later than the European elections, and this in order to avoid any problems regarding the legitimacy of the European elections, with the UK withdrawal still pending”, Prodromou said.

The spokesman also stressed that “a political decision must be taken and will be taken tonight and the EU 27 common position is to have an orderly withdrawal with an agreement”.

“A decision will be taken for an extension, given that the UK Parliament will approve the agreement reached and of course reaffirmed by the 27, who have a common position that the agreement reached between the EU and the UK is non-negotiable – it is important to have a unified position, but it is equally important to have a decision to end this uncertainty,” Prodromou said.

Asked by CNA about the possibility of a new rejection of the agreement by the House of Commons, Prododou replied: “of course, we are talking about forecasts, we all want to avoid a new rejection from the British parliament, but in such a case it is very likely that an extraordinary European Council will be needed, because efforts should be made until the end to avoid withdrawal without an agreement “.

“The common position is that this would be particularly damaging to everyone – on both sides,” he said.

In relation to the other agenda items of the Summit, the spokesman said: “At the same time, there are two other issues before the European Council, one of which is employment, growth and competitiveness, which will be the focus of tomorrows plenary session and which will be attended by the ECB President Draghi “.

“It is therefore the adoption of the priorities of the Annual Growth Survey, but also the Councils draft economic policy for the euro area in the European Semester” and “these are issues related to small and medium-sized enterprises, the single market, trade policy and the prevention of unfair third-country practices that negatively affect the euro,”, the spokesman noted.

“At the same time part of the conclusions of the European Council will be the reference to climate change and what needs to be done about misinformation – it is an issue that is particularly sensitive in view of the European elections and the effort to prevent any fraudulent interference based on the experience of the past”, he added and clarified that “migration is also always on the agenda. “

“Finally, the third section, the topic that will be on the agenda of the dinner tonight is external relations, and in particular the preparation of the EU-China summit to be held on 9 April between the Union institutions and China, and of course there is a a particular sensitivity because the EU is now addressing China as a strategic competitor, the EU does not have the policies and the approach of measures that we once saw by the US, but the EU wants to see reciprocal relations with this great partner and that there will be balanced practices in trade, “said Prodromos Prodromou.

“In particular, it seeks reciprocity by assuming some responsibilities on the part of China in terms of human rights, climate change, network security, such as 5G, trade practices, and so on” the spokesman said.

“The President of the Republic will participate by submitting our positions on all of these issues, following in particular developments regarding Brexit,” he concluded.

Source: Cyprus News Agency