"Divorce is always negative" - Michel Barnier gives an overview of Brexit

3 weeks ago 10

As the European Union's main Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, managed what immoderate considered the impossible. He and his squad came to an statement with the UK for its departure from the union. They did truthful successful 1600 days during which clip twists and turns successful the Brexit communicative were frequent.

The erstwhile French Minister and erstwhile European Commissioner has present written a publication that describes his clip arsenic the EU's main Brexit negotiator. It's entitled "My Secret Brexit Diary: A Glorious Illusion" and volition beryllium disposable successful English from October.

In an exclusive interrogation with Euronews, Barnier tells america astir his book, Brexit, his thoughts connected Europe and his plans for the future.

To ticker the afloat interrogation of Michel Barnier, click connected the media subordinate above.

You person written a diary that tells the communicative of erstwhile you battled with your British counterparts to effort to find a Brexit agreement. Now it's been astir six months since negotiations ended, what connection would you usage to picture each these years? Disappointment, relief, concern, disgust?"

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"Six months agone what is the connection that would characterise the negotiations? I'd accidental tenacity and respect. Since past though, I would accidental vigilance due to the fact that this statement is lone worthy thing if it is implemented and respected. We are disquieted some astir fisheries successful the 2nd statement we made for our aboriginal narration and besides for Ireland wherever the British are trying to region themselves".

You person occasionally painted an unflattering representation of immoderate of your counterparts. It seems similar you're sometimes alternatively annoyed by their lies, by their debased shots, by their mode of avoiding existent questions. Among each these people, each the personalities you encountered, which 1 near you with the worst memories?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"I'd alternatively accidental that I person a batch of respect for Olly Robbins, for example, who was Mrs May's European adviser. I person a batch of respect for Theresa May herself, who was courageous and tenacious. I'd alternatively halt determination successful regards to the radical I've described. But possibly it volition promote radical to work the book".

Reading your book, it seems similar thing is finished, that it's conscionable the beginning, and for Brexit presumption to truly unfold we volition inactive person to beryllium patient. We cognize that successful caller weeks already determination has been friction. We've heard astir the sausage warfare with the European Union successful regards to the borderline betwixt Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We've heard astir the lobster warfare successful Jersey with French fishermen. Is this conscionable the beginning?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"It is the opening of a caller narration with a state that has left, that wanted to permission the EU. We are not the ones leaving, they near the European Union and the azygous market, and this has had galore consequences that were not afloat taken into relationship by the British oregon astatine slightest that were not explained well.

I americium assured that this large state volition honour its commitments adjacent if it has intentions that I find hard to recognize due to the fact that if you enactment things successful perspective, the astir important happening for the British, is to support a bully narration with the EU, its large neighbour and a marketplace with 450 cardinal consumers. If they were to question their commitments, I deliberation it would beryllium a superior occupation for the spot that we require".

You mentioned fishermen, I got the content from speechmaking your publication that European fishermen person paid a precocious terms due to the fact that of Brexit, is that true?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"If you perceive to Scottish oregon Cornish fishermen, they volition archer you that this is simply a precise atrocious statement for them. I deliberation it's a balanced agreement. It couldn't beryllium a bully woody for america due to the fact that they could person got everything back. If determination was nary commercialized agreement, if we had failed successful this negotiation, the British could person taken backmost each their waters and excluded us. So we avoided that. Let's conscionable accidental that it's a bully agreement, it's not ideal, but present we indispensable vigilantly instrumentality it".

Another large taxable of treatment and dialog was the celebrated borderline betwixt Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Will this statement stay viable successful the agelong word due to the fact that we cognize that unit is ne'er acold away? Recently, determination person been tragedies successful Northern Ireland, a writer was killed. Is capable being done to cement this statement betwixt the 2 countries?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"First of all, fto maine punctual you that the borderline we are talking about, the boundaries we are talking about, are betwixt the United Kingdom, which Northern Ireland is portion of, and not conscionable with the Republic of Ireland, but with the full European Union. That's the problem. On this island, determination are 2 countries with a agelong history, galore tragedies. Recently, successful Northern Ireland, the struggle betwixt respective communities caused 4000 deaths and there's a fragile bid determination similar you said. I deliberation the protocol we signed which was negotiated measurement by step, comma by comma, with Boris Johnson himself, not with Mrs. May, but it was Boris Johnson who signed this agreement, who asked his parliament to o.k. this protocol which was past ratified, this statement is the lone 1 possible. It is complex, it is sensitive, but it indispensable beryllium implemented. It consists of preserving what is called the "all-island economy", preserving practice betwixt the 2 communities, not gathering hard borders connected the land due to the fact that that was impossible, determination would person been caller troubles. For america Europeans, it was created to spot that the products that participate our marketplace are controlled. Let maine punctual you that a cattle that leaves England by vessel and arrives successful Belfast, Northern Ireland, successful the aforesaid country, the United Kingdom, that cattle enters France and Germany, it enters Finland, it enters the azygous market, truthful we indispensable power it from the constituent of presumption of nutrient information and wellness safety. We beryllium it to Irish consumers and to European consumers and citizens. So what was agreed by Boris Johnson himself, what we inquire him to respect, what helium signed, is fundamentally that this cattle and each different products are controlled by the British authorities with our practice connected introduction to the island, Belfast, astatine the larboard oregon astatine the airport, truthful that European rules, customs and wellness codes are respected".

Putting speech the Irish question for a moment, you notation astatine the extremity of your publication each the risks related to this historical agreement, this caller commercialized statement with the United Kingdom and you notation already social, fiscal and economical dumping.

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"Yes, we indispensable beryllium vigilant, similar I said. We knew that the British leaving the azygous market, leaving the European Union, wanted and privation to regain their regulatory autonomy. What are they doing with that? Are they managing it decently by controlling things oregon are they utilizing it arsenic a societal dumping instrumentality against us? We volition not judge social, fiscal, oregon biology dumping due to the fact that the United Kingdom, which is simply a precise ample state close adjacent to us, that touches the European Union successful Ireland, is the 1 with which we person the astir commercialized successful the satellite erstwhile compared to Canada, the United States and Japan. We commercialized the astir with the United Kingdom due to the fact that we were successful the aforesaid market. Let maine punctual you that the British export 47% of their products to america and we export 8% of our European products to the UK. It is successful their involvement to behave decently and we person to behave decently arsenic good to debar these issues, unfair contention and look for a "level playing field".

There are safeguards that you fought hard for, that exist. Are they capable to halt immoderate temptations?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"I anticipation we won't person to usage them. They let america to retaliate, to instrumentality compensatory measures, to re-establish customs tariffs connected assorted sectors, to bash what is called a "cross suspension", i.e. to transverse suspend this oregon that portion of the agreement, oregon if necessary, adjacent suspend the statement itself.

I deliberation everyone needs to wage attraction because, really, that's been 1 of my concerns for the past 4 years. I would similar to enactment this divorcement statement successful perspective. What is the perspective? The position is that the United Kingdom, that has go wholly independent, and the European Union indispensable and volition look communal challenges. I tin sanction them. There volition beryllium different pandemics, we volition request to cooperate similar we are contiguous whether it's owed to a quality pandemic oregon an carnal pandemic. There volition beryllium different COVIDS, unfortunately. There volition beryllium turbulence successful the fiscal marketplace that volition impact us, conscionable similar the 2008-2009 situation affected everyone and violently. There volition beryllium different attacks, determination volition beryllium migration that we volition person to control, migration particularly linked to poorness successful Africa. There volition beryllium clime change, determination is clime change. Clearly, we volition person to cooperate. That's why, connected behalf of the European Union, I made this statement successful that spirit. The divorcement is based connected a position of cooperation".

Considering the contented of your book, you could person called it: A Practical Guide to leaving the European Union. The divorcement was precise complicated, precise painful, but successful the extremity the United Kingdom near the European Union. Do you deliberation this is capable to enactment disconnected the 27 that stay onboard the European ship, oregon bash you fearfulness that different countries volition 1 time inquire to permission the European Union?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"We speech astir palmy negotiations. I don't cognize if we tin speech astir occurrence erstwhile you usage the connection divorce, due to the fact that divorcement is ever negative. In immoderate case, we wanted to bounds the consequences and we succeeded due to the fact that we wanted these agreements. So did the British. So we delivered Brexit. Even if we regret it. We person respected the volition of a British bulk who made this determination themselves connected the 23rd of June 2016. I deliberation the negotiations that were precise long, were precise transparent acknowledgment to Jean-Claude Juncker. He authorised maine to usage full transparency. We ne'er hid anything, you tin spot that successful the book. We discussed everything with everyone astir each taxable and we did this for 4 years. This is what created spot and it's the cardinal to the unity of the 27 subordinate states.

Everyone was capable to see, the commercialized unions I met, the entrepreneurs I met, the nationalist parliaments successful each state that I met 2 oregon 3 times during nationalist hearings, everyone was capable to spot successful a applicable mode what an exit from the European Union is like. I deliberation this partially explains wherefore Mrs. Le Pen successful France, Mr. Geert Wilders and Mr. Salvini, who present supports Mario Draghi successful Italy, nary longer speech astir leaving the European Union.

But I'm wary. I deliberation we person to beryllium cautious due to the fact that determination is ever the aforesaid nationalism, the aforesaid volition to interruption up the European Union. Mr Farage told maine that helium wanted to stroke up the European Union. We don't person to delight Mr Farage, but determination is besides a fashionable feeling that has been expressed and that exists successful galore of our European countries, successful galore regions. It's a feeling of exclusion, of having nary future, nary jobs, insufficient nationalist services, poorly controlled immigration. All these fashionable feelings are not populism. It is simply a fashionable feeling that is deep-rooted. In France, we saw it erstwhile again successful caller elections, similar successful galore different countries. We indispensable respond to it, we indispensable alteration what needs to beryllium changed successful Brussels: i.e. little bureaucracy, much reciprocity successful our commercialized exchanges, little naivety. There's a will, that has been expressed for 2 oregon 3 years now, to put unneurotic by borrowing together, to person a integer concern European policy. There are answers successful each superior and besides successful each region". 

You speech astir the aboriginal and a Conference connected the aboriginal of Europe has begun, a large national consultation. Do you truly judge listening to citizens tin pb to important changes?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"It is ever important to perceive to citizens and spot however they feel, similar they did successful the United Kingdom, and that could besides hap successful our countries. So we indispensable beryllium cautious and I deliberation it is an important accidental to enactment much ideology successful the European debate".

As agelong arsenic it serves a purpose...

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"Yes, arsenic agelong arsenic it serves a purpose. For example, determination is an idea, which this league could instrumentality up, which I would similar to spot implemented successful France, but possibly it is amended to bash it connected a European level. The thought is to measure oregon surface each European policies to spot if they inactive person the aforesaid added value, to spot if successful immoderate areas it is inactive utile oregon indispensable to beryllium together. Or could we spot the subordinate states again? In definite areas, we could. So successful these cases, it's besides important to explicate wherefore it is inactive indispensable for america to stay unneurotic successful different argumentation areas.

For example, trade, competition, agriculture, digital, these are subjects wherever we indispensable beryllium together. Then determination are possibly areas similar wellness wherever we should beryllium unneurotic and we were not. So this would besides person an acquisition and antiauthoritarian value. Do we request to marque different organization changes? We person made many. We've tried to bash that a batch successful the past 15 years. I deliberation that alternatively than talking astir the mechanics of the engine, we should speech astir the roadworthy we are connected and wherefore we are connected this road".

And speech astir projects...

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"And projects. There are galore challenges wrong the Green Deal, with our effect to clime change. Climate alteration is fundamental, it volition alteration everything successful our home, successful agriculture, transportation, construction, successful our exchange. There are besides galore challenges successful our integer and concern ambitions that we request to reaffirm, and successful the azygous marketplace which needs to instrumentality connected much quality dimensions. We person to look astatine the representation of the satellite arsenic it is and look astatine this satellite with our eyes wide open. In this world, determination are powers, continent-states that inactive person anticipation for us, but nary longer expect america to crook up. There's the United States, that is our ally, but being an state doesn't mean allegiance. There's besides China, India, Brazil and Russia. What bash we bring to the array with them? Are we truly astatine their table? That's the question. There are areas contiguous successful the world, let's beryllium honest, wherever we Europeans, person to beryllium united, different we'll go subcontractors and beryllium nether the power of China and the United States".

Let's get backmost to immoderate much down-to-earth European news. A Hungarian instrumentality has been a blistery taxable recently. It's a instrumentality that galore see homophobic, a instrumentality that caused an uproar astatine the past European Council to the constituent wherever the Dutch Prime Minister adjacent said "with this law, the Hungarians person nary concern being successful the European Union". Hungary is not the lone one, determination is Poland, and determination is Slovenia. Mr. Jansa, who has taken bureau arsenic the caput of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has not escaped disapproval either. For 10 years, European values person been nether attack, systematically called into question, and I person the content that Europe is letting it slide.

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"I don't deliberation that Europe is looking the different way. You yourself mentioned the statement that took spot astatine the European Council. There are procedures that person been oregon tin beryllium initiated by the Commission to guarantee that everyone respects the treaties. At the aforesaid time, you person to inquire yourself what would hap successful these countries if they were not portion of the European Union, with its ineligible body, without rules, without co-habitation rules, the concern would beryllium overmuch much serious. I combat for the implementation of these procedures, for the usage of pressure, to person leaders that everyone should behave. I deliberation dialog is the champion mode to unit them, to person them, alternatively than exclusion". 

On the aforesaid topic, you constitute successful your publication that it is precocious to respire caller beingness oregon springiness backmost the vigor to the founding fathers of the EU, but it's not excessively late, what bash you mean by that?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"What I mean by that is that determination is fatality lone wherever determination is fatalism. A politician, oregon a citizen, oregon the antheral that I am, cannot beryllium fatalistic. We are not allowed. I deliberation determination are concerns, determination are warnings and electroshocks. Brexit is 1 of them. There are outer threats. There are interior threats to the European project, but determination is besides bully news. There's the capableness we person demonstrated to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, to get together, to put together. There is unity".

With immoderate glitches...

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"Yes, not everything is easy. To each those listening, I privation to accidental that the European Union is not a federation. It is not a azygous state. There is not 1 European nationality, determination is not 1 European nation. There are 27 nations, each with its ain differences, its ain nationalist identity. We clasp connected to that and yet, we enactment together, we partially determine connected our destinies and policies together. It can't beryllium easy. The terms to wage for a united, but not azygous Europe is that we judge a definite complexity successful the European system. We indispensable explicate this to those who are listening to us".

One past question. You extremity this publication with a precise French resolution. You contiguous a governmental project. My question is simple, you person been asked it respective times already. Would you beryllium funny successful participating successful your party's superior elections, the Republican's superior elections, to past tally successful the Presidential elections successful 9 months?

Michel Barnier, the EU's main Brexit negotiator:

"This publication does not extremity connected conscionable a French note, it ends connected the enactment of idiosyncratic who is simply a arrogant politician, a patriot and a European. For those listening, the publication volition beryllium published successful English connected October the 1st, successful Spanish connected September the 15th and besides successful Greek and Romanian. I americium blessed that my acquisition and this communicative tin beryllium work successful each oregon galore of our European languages. Yes, I americium acceptable to instrumentality portion successful the Presidential debate. I americium a politician. I person the energy, ideas, the ambition, the capableness to beryllium useful. I can't archer you yet wherever and however due to the fact that I person to cheque with my governmental household that I tin beryllium useful. This is my superior reply to a precise superior question. For me, the clip has not travel yet to reply this, but I americium preparing myself, I americium earnestly preparing myself due to the fact that it is indispensable to beryllium superior successful an predetermination similar this 1 and I americium ready".

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