Tuesday, May 28

Jean-Claude Juncker says UK should rejoin EU using Article 49



The European Commission president said the UK could apply to rejoin under Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty even after it leaves the EU in March 2019 – if the Government or British people want “find a way out” of Brexit.

It comes after European Council president Donald Tusk declared himself open to a change of heart from the UK on Tuesday.

Urging Brits to reconsider, Mr Juncker described Brexit as a lose-lose situation for Britain and the EU and a catastrophe.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, he went on: “Mr Tusk said that our hand remains outstretched.

The British people, the British Government, may wish to find a different way out of the Brexit situation and we are very much willing to deal with them.

We are not throwing the British out, we would like the British to stay, and if they so wish, they should be allowed to do so.

Jean-Claude Juncker meets Theresa May on December 4, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

In London, there was a rather irritated response to this proposal [to stay in the EU], but note that even if the British leave according to Article 50 then Article 49 would allow them to accede again and I would be happy to facilitate that.

The overtures came as a commission paper suggested the EU is toughening its stance on the transition period after Brexit on March 29, 2019.

British Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (Brexit Minister) David Davis (R) and European Union Chief Negotiator in charge of Brexit negotiations with Britain Michel Barnier arrive for a press conference at the European Union… A document obtained by Brussels reporters suggests chief negotiator Michel Barnier wants free movement of people to continue throughout the period, and permanent rights to settle for any EU nationals moving to the UK before the end of 2020.

He is also expected to insist that the UK will need authorisation from Brussels to continue enjoying the benefits of the bloc’s existing trade agreements with non-EU countries, the paper suggests.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna has said Britons have a right to change their mind about Brexit.

Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis (L) and European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talk to the media, ahead of Brexit talks in Brussels, Belgium August 28, 2017 A year on from Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech setting out her negotiating priorities, Mr Umunna said on behalf of the Open Britain campaign for close ties with the EU: Brexit is proving to be far more costly and complicated than we were led to believe.

The promises made by the Prime Minister last January are today as worthless as a degree certificate from Trump University.

In fact, talks on the future relationship with the EU haven’t even begun. She and her shambolic Cabinet cannot even agree what they want.

A year on from Lancaster House, the Prime Minister must accept that Brexit on the terms it was sold is not possible, and be honest with people about the huge trade-offs ahead. Given what is at stake, everyone is right to keep an open mind about Brexit.