do not mention the war

The EU tells UK: it’s not enough

In Brexit on June 28, 2017 at 13:30

The UK’s government has presented a policy paper outlining how the rights of EU citizens will be handled during and after the Brexit negotiations. It seems each move by the UK is met with more demands by the EU to amend the British policies to fit them with the EU’s positions. May has almost no options to navigate.

Now that the Brexit talks are underway, the EU-27 have made it clear to Mrs. May what they expect from her with regards to EU citizens living in the UK. They want more.

More effort, more guarantees, more clarity

That is what the EU’s Michael Barnier stated afterwards. Reading the policy paper it is not surprising that he said so. In one of the first paragraphs the paper states that

The United Kingdom is one of the most tolerant and welcoming places in the world and will remain that way

Given that both major parties are backing Brexit, this statement is somewhat doubtful in its essence. Brexit was chosen on the basis of controlling migration to the UK.

Further down the British government states that all EU citizens will have to undergo a re-qualification process in order to qualify for permanent residence. A welcoming country would not request any person living in the country to re-qualify their status. It is more or less an open threat.

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union: safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the U…

It is a tough time for Theresa May. The recent tragedy at Grenfell Towers in London has underlined the idea that she is indeed a robot called Maybot, not human. Her government seems to react with contempt to human tragedies. In Europe things do not seem much better. Her wish to debate the divorce from Europe and the new arrangements at the same time has been rebuked. Her hard Brexit is no longer backed up by a majority in parliament. In fact at home her position has been significantly weakened since the general election earlier this month. Which plays into the hands of the EU. The demands from the continent are clear: guarantee the free movement of people and goods and we are ready to speak to you. Cherry picking is not on.

Theresa May seems to be a woman who does not know what to do best. The German magazine Der Spiegel described her appearance as

a stony face and shoulders sacking

as she left the EU building in Brussels. One of the problems in the policy paper is the role of the European Court of Justice. In the paper it is stated that the CJEU will have no jurisdiction in the UK. At the same time the UK wishes to retain access to the EU market yet does not intend to accept its rules and laws is just inacceptable for the EU. Therefore, even a soft Brexit, the only option possible for the Tories seems almost impossible.

The president of the EU council, Donald Tusk has stated that the policy is unacceptable as it may worsen the situation of EU citizens in the UK. Therefore, the demand by Michael Barnier to make a bigger effort, to show some willingness to make the best from a bad situation. It is in this manner how the German papers judge the situation and how they report about Brexit. The situation is awkward and everyone wishes to be somewhere else, more pleasant.

Photo Credit: MaxPixel under CC0 1.0 Universal

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