#UkinEU: Commission clarifies its role and some aspects of deal against Brexit

| February 22, 2016 | 0 Comments

2012-12-0503-pic1-stoibergroupgeneralOn 22 February the European Commission held a technical meeting to explain in detail the deal that was reached to keep the UK in the EU. 

The agreement was unanimously reached on Friday night and afterwards British Prime Minister David Cameron went back to London where he officially announced that the referendum on the UK staying or leaving the EU will be held on 23 June.

After a weekend of speculation and of opinions throughout Europe, the Commission cleared some aspects of the reached agreement with a Q&A session to journalists. Long-time European Commission officer’s Jonathan Faull was answering the questions.

The European Commission’s spokeperson Margaritis Schinas introduced the meeting and was very keen to underline that he, Faull and also the Commission haven’t speculated yet on the UK leaving the EU. As far as they are concerned, an agreement has been reached and now it is up to the British people to decide. Any possible scenario that may rise after the vote on 23 June, for instance what will happen in Scotland, wasn’t discussed.

The first aspect that both Faull and Schinas wanted to strongly affirm was that the Commission won’t do any electoral campaign against Brexit. Not even in case of false news or inaccuracies reported by British media. The Commission rue hope the British to vote to stay but that’s the extend of their support for the anti-Brexit camp.

Another crucial point Faull clarified was that all the aspects of the reached agreement are not in contrast with the current European treaties. When the treaties will be modified again the new measures will be included in the treaties, but the agreement won’t force to do it right now.

Moreover, it was stressed that the agreement ‘lives or dies with the referendum’. In case the UK will opt to leave the EU, the agreement will be repealed and won’t be implemented in any way. If some of the points of the deal are of interest to some member states, they will be discussed afterwards.

When it came to the details of the agreement, the point that was discussed the most was about the children benefits and the possibility of seven years emergency break from the UK for immigrant’s children.

Faull clarified that this measure touches doesn’t touch the benefits of foreign workers, but only the benefits related to children of the foreign workers. He explained that there could be a system of indexation in order to scale the cost of the children benefits according to the children’s effective residence.

Any country that qualifies for the criteria on this measure can apply for it, however, Faull said that he doesn’t know the position of single member states. Overall, details on this proposal are still to be worked out.

Finally, asked whether or not this deal constitutes a dangerous precedent for the EU, one that will allow every member states to ask for better condition at the expense of a stronger EU, Faull replied that “the Commission always answers to the concerns of the member states”.

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Category: A Frontpage, Brexit, EU, European Commission, UK

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