Diary Day 652: the European Council summit ended with no progress on the Brexit negotiations.
The President, Donald Tusk, stated that the leaders had reached an agreement on migration. It included “disembarkation platforms outside Europe, a dedicated budgetary tool in the next MFF to combat illegal migration, as well as boosting EU support for the Libyan Coast Guard.” They also agreed the Franco-Italian proposal of controlled centres on EU territory, in countries that are willing to build them. “All the measures in the context of these centres, including relocation and resettlement, will be taken on a voluntary basis.”
They also agreed to launch the next tranche of financing for Turkey and to transfer 500 million euros of development money to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. (These are measures to encourage people not to come to Europe.)
He also announced that the Euro summit agreed to progress on the completion of the Banking Union and to strengthen the European Stability Mechanism.
On Brexit, however, Mr Tusk said: “The EU27 has taken note of what has been achieved so far. However, there is a great deal of work ahead, and the most difficult tasks are still unresolved. If we want to reach a deal in October we need quick progress. This is the last call to lay the cards on the table.”
This echoed Mr Barnier’s words earlier. He said “huge and serious divergence” remained, in particular on Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Mr Barnier said the EU had to base the future partnership on “our values and principles, respecting also the UK red lines. That means for us integrity of the single market, indivisibility of the four freedoms, autonomy of the decision making of the EU, and protection and respect of the fundamental rights of EU citizens.”
So no cherry picking, no special deal for goods, no rejecting ECJ jurisdiction then.
He said he hoped the UK white paper would “contain workable and realistic proposals”, but that time was very short.
Workable and realistic? The civil war in the Conservatives will prevent that.
So where do we go from here? The paralysed Conservative Government has got to go before it does any more harm.
What a mess.
Meanwhile the Washington Post revealed that in April President Trump had suggested to France’s President Macron that France leave the EU in return for a better trade deal. Another report stated that earlier this week Mr Trump, speaking in North Dakota, had claimed that the EU was set up to take advantage of the United States. CNN stated that he had been trying to divide European allies, making the same offer to Germany’s Angela Merkel, as well as to Britain.
Obviously European leaders are not that stupid. Oh hang on…
Actor Danny Dyer’s outburst of bewilderment at Brexit and fury at David Cameron went viral on social media. “How come he can scuttle off? He called all this on. Where is he? He’s in Europe, in Nice, with his trotters up, yeh, where is the geezer? I think he should be held account for it.”
He has a point. How should Mr Cameron be held to account for all this?