Brexit will be ‘the beginning’ of a new relationship between the UK and EU ‘if it happens’ says Brussels’ new top bureaucrat Ursula von der Leyen as she reveals negotiator Michel Barnier will STAY in his job
- Ursula von der Leyen said both sides would have to work to build up new ties
- German warning to Brexiteers arguing for a so-called ‘clean break’ departure
- Replaces Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president in November
- Boris Johnson under renewed pressure to get a deal with Brussels
Brexit will be ‘the beginning’ of the UK’s new relationship with the EU ‘should it happen’, the new head of the European Commission said today.
In an implicit warning to Brexit supporters in the UK arguing for a so-called ‘clean break’ departure with no deal in place, incoming EC president Ursula von der Leyen said the two sides would have to work to build up ties anew.
It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was facing increasing pressure to hammer out a deal after MPs moved to mine his path to a No deal departure.
‘The Brexit, should it happen, is not the end of something but it’s the beginning of our future relationship,’ she said.
Speaking in Brussels today (pictured) former German minister Ms von der Leyen said the EU had completed contingency preparations for a No Deal Brexit
Von der Leyen also revealed she had asked current Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (centre, last week in Brussels) to continue in his role
Speaking in Brussels today former German minister Ms von der Leyen said the EU had completed contingency preparations for a No Deal Brexit but such a departure would not benefit either side.
She also revealed she had asked current Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to continue in his role.
The German, who takes office at the helm of the EU’s executive team on November 1, told reporters in Brussels she was ensuring a ‘smooth transition’ with the outgoing commission, which has been handling the Brexit issue.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured today at a school in London) is facing increasing pressure to hammer out a deal after MPs moved to mine his path to a No deal departure
Asked about Mr Johnson being pressured by Parliament to ask for another extension to Brexit – a third, to run until the end of January 2020 – von der Leyen said that wasentirely up to London.
‘The next steps are completely in the hands and the decision of the United Kingdom. So I will not comment on their decisions and the next steps they might take,’ she said.
‘So we’ll see how things will proceed.’