Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has recommended that the 27 member states of the European Union approve the Brexit withdrawal agreement of Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, at a summit that will be in Brussels today.
He said that the objectives of the negotiations – to minimise the uncertainty and disruption, settle the status of the citizens of the European Union that are in the United Kingdom, avoid a hard border in Ireland, make sure that the UK honours its financial commitments, and prevent a legal vacuum for businesses – had been achieved by May’s Brexit deal.
The recommendation of Tusk to the EU countries comes after Spain and the United Kingdom reached an agreement regarding the status of Gibraltar during the Brexit transition, after the threats of Spain that it would be opposing the deal tomorrow evening unless it excludes the issue.
In a statement that was released on Saturday afternoon, Tusk stated: “The Withdrawal Agreement ensures that the rights of our citizens are fully protected, the peace process in Northern Ireland should not be affected, the UK will continue its payments to the EU budget during the transition period and legal certainty will be secured.”
He added: “Our negotiator has thereby managed to reduce the risks and losses resulting from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.”
Tusk said that during in the discussions that came after the 2016 referendum result, “no one wanted to defeat anyone.” On a tweet that he posted on Twitter, he added: “No one has reasons to be happy, but at least at this critical time, the EU has passed the test of unity and solidarity.”
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on the 29th of March 2019.
The terms of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the bloc have been under negotiation since June 2016 after a referendum in which 51.9 percent voted to leave the European Union.