Compact on Migration: stormy weather for Belgian cabinet

Bart De Wever, the leader of Belgium's biggest party, has said that the UN Compact on Migration is unacceptable for the Flemish nationalist party, the N-VA.  Mr De Wever told newsmen that he didn't think the compact was worth bringing down the government and that he hoped to avoid the fall of the government.

The compact is supposed to be signed next week, but the Flemish nationalists don't want PM Charles Michel to put his signature to this document at the signing ceremony in Marrakech.  Reservations about the compact surfaced recently.  All three other government parties support it and have proposed adding a document to say how Belgian judges should interpret it, but this cannot satisfy the N-VA.

The Belgian inner cabinet met on Monday afternoon to seek a way out of the impasse that could threaten its very existence. This morning PM Michel remained optimistic: "It's not impossible to find a solution!"

Mr De Wever points to the legal implications of the document: "It's non-binding, but will that serve as an argument in court?  The fact that the EU is no longer pursuing push back policies on refugees is the result of a court decision, not a political one."