Why the EU should let the UK revoke Article 50


Michel Barnier and David Davis

An intervention is needed to call halt, or at least create a pause, in this damaging cycle.

The government is locked into a Brexit death spiral of its own making, and is hurtling willingly towards a catastrophic no-deal scenario. Like any friend who goes off the rails, it needs an intervention by friends and family to get it out of its cycle of harm. An overt offer from the EU27 for the UK to revoke Article 50 may be the intervention that it needs to do this. It may also be in the EU27s interests to extend such an invitation.

As it stands, there are only 12 months until an exit deal must be agreed, as it must also be agreed by the European Parliament. After five rounds of negotiations though, and despite some technical progress, none of the initial three separation issues have been solved.

Each of these issues requires serious movement on the part of the UK to unlock negotiations. The movement on citizens’ rights is not yet sufficient. Despite Theresa May’s overtures in her Florence speech, the UK is still unwilling to seriously discuss its financial liabilities, let alone agree to actually meet them. Despite all agreeing a border would be bad, it is now obvious there is no real solution to the Ireland/Northern Ireland issue that does not involve either a real border, or Northern Ireland being in the customs union or a direct equivalent of it.

The EU’s position on these issues is well justified. Significant “concessions” from EU27 on these would not help EU citizens in the UK, UK citizens in the EU, or the people of Northern Ireland and Ireland. Rolling back on the principle that what is committed at 28 is honoured at 28 would simply open a pointless bidding war. There will …read more

Source:: New Statesman

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