Belga

“The best possible agreement given the circumstances”

The Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has reacted to the agreement between the UK government at the European Union on the terms for the United Kingdom to leave the EU. The British people voted to leave the European Union in a referendum held in 2016. The United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European on 31 March next year.  

Speaking just ahead of the meeting held to approve the deal. The Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told journalists that “given the circumstances this is the best possible agreement. What is now on the table is the product of a gigantic amount of work”.   

Approving the agreement is an important step towards the Brexit.

However, "We need to be aware that the British Parliament will also need to give the agreement its approval”, Mr Michel stressed. 

"This is the moment of truth. I hope that the text is approved. I am not certain, but I hope it”.    

The Belgian Prime Minister refused to speculate on what would happen if the UK Parliament were to reject the agreement.

 "I don’t plan to answer hypothetical questions”.

Mr Michel was keen to stress that nothing will change for Belgians and Belgian companies for another two years.

"This will be the case for the British as they will no longer be able to exert and direct influence on the EU decision making process”.

If the UK Parliament passes the Brexit agreement, the negotiators will be able to start discussing future trade relations between the EU and the United Kingdom.  

Mr Michel calls for as much cooperation as possible between the EU and the UK in the field of trade. Particular attention needs to be paid to fisheries and unfair competition from British companies needs to be avoided.

"We will need to assure ourselves that the British don’t engage in social, environmental of fiscal dumping”, the Belgian Prime Minister concluded. 

AFP or licensors