Saturday, February 20, 2016

The agreement “anti-Brexit” paves the way for a Europe “à la carte” – Le Monde

Le Monde | • Updated | By

British Prime Minister David Cameron during  a meeting with President of the European Council  Donald Tusk and President of the European  Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, during the second  day of the EU summit Brexit in Brussels on 19  February 2016.

“Deal done. “ Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, formalized on Twitter, Friday, February 19 to 22 h 30, the laboriously negotiated agreement between the Europeans to allow David Cameron to defend, before the British electorate, maintaining their country in the European Union (EU).

after nearly three hours of almost continuous negotiation, the British prime minister to hurry tore partners to end that he qualifies, triumphantly, “special status” to the UK. It remains to defend the now to the electorate to win the referendum he has agreed to organize, including the date, probably on June 23 will be officially announced on Saturday morning, after a council of British ministers.

The ever efficient verb, David Cameron welcomed in a packed press room on Friday night, having been successful in all his requests. “The UK will never be part of a great State of the European Union, the country will never adopt the euro, we will not participate in parts of the Union that do not work [Schengen euro] , he insisted.

” There will never be any question of having unrequited thing ” added the Conservative Prime Minister, referring to one of the major concessions made by its partners, the right for the country to limit a period of four years the access of non-EU workers to British social benefits. “It’s enough for me to campaign for the yes vote. The EU is not perfect, but turn your back is not a solution, “ he said.

” I do not like Brussels “

the Europeans have thus done their share of work to avoid a” Brexit “(” British exit “, or EU output). The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, defended the compromise reluctantly calling it “honest”, as it is supposed to actually meet all national sensitivities. “Not glamorous, but without compromise on the fundamental values ​​of Europe” , reacted Donald Tusk. The President of the Commission and the Council have engaged in a little game: Mr Cameron had concluded by running: “I do not like Brussels, but I love Britain. “ ” I love Brussels and Britain, “ Tusk replied. “I love Brussels more than other parts of Europe” , quipped Juncker …

Interminable, this summit will, in any case as a success for the British Conservative leader. More anecdotal, but equally symptomatic of a Europe a little disoriented, sick of his gaping disagreements, participants’ Brexit deal “will retain this photo retweeted hundreds of times and became the event of the day: we see German Chancellor Angela Merkel caught her afford a bag of chips, about 18 hours on a square near the Council. While all media, is broadcast information that trading is in full swing …

In fact, it was suspended because François Hollande wanted to spend two hours at a show on France Inter, to talk about Europe and domestic policy. Much of his colleagues were, themselves, in their hotel room since the morning they felt unconcerned and watched with one eye distracts the debate on the “Brexit” …

” Trap migrants “

the final stretch of the endless negotiation process has been laborious and more dramatic than expected. Laborious: “A European Council, it is not because it lasts a long time that much happening” , summarized Mr. Holland. Dramatic: the discussion on the “Brexit” was caught by what many in Brussels, Berlin or Vienna, consider the real crisis, that of migrants. The Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, has threatened to block any compromise with the British he did not get the guarantee that the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans do not close their borders, which would transform his country into a vast “trap migrants”. Faced with such a risk, negotiating with Mr Cameron suddenly seemed very shifted or completely improbable, in the eyes of senior officials, even the most experienced.

The “migration” section of this summit, should only be used as diversionary theme time Thursday night dinner, finally mobilized minds for five hours. Which referred to the middle of the night the start of bilateral negotiations on the demands of the British Prime Minister.

Following Friday M me Merkel and Mr Hollande worked to reassure the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, during much of the day. The French president also met one-on-one with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. He explained that he would not reconsider the decision of his government to introduce quotas for asylum seekers in order to limit the number of daily arrivals, even contravene European law. But according to our information, the chancellor would have given up the organization in Vienna next week, a summit to coordinate the closing of the Balkan route. Finally, Mr. Tsipras favorite guard down and has not raised its blocking threat at the last round table on Friday night.

Between the start of the summit on Thursday to 17 pm, and Finally, in the evening of Friday, the sherpas and the legal advisers of leaders, for hours writing and rewriting, the comma and the noun near a compromise text which, in outline, is in well, not really changed since two weeks.

a well-crafted script

London also wanted to treat the “dance” around the talks, everyone surjouant slightly citing the difficulty of the negotiations. We had to let Mr. Cameron the opportunity to state that he had fought like a lion, while other EU members wanted to prove that they resisted with all their might.

the script was followed, British officials regularly down in the Atrium, the huge press room of the Council, with its hundreds of journalists to repeat it remained “lot of work” to accomplish. Imitated by the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, who, very unusually, came twice in direct contact with journalists to defend the “red lines” of his country and repeat, like all other loop that “there is no agreement on anything until there is no agreement on everything.”

The Polish and Czech ministers insisted too heavily, facing camera, about their concerns regarding restrictions on access to family allowances for the exiled relatives in the UK and whose children are back home. And worry about the consequences for their citizens if the British were putting out their threats. “Up to 100 000 children remained in Poland are concerned” , ensured a Polish official.

Conversely, the Danes were wondering if they could use the same mechanism as the British (family allowances reduced the level of living of the country where the children reside beneficiaries) while Eastern representatives demanded that this provision is not extended to countries other than the UK …

the results for Europe? Although Mr Juncker invites journalists “with the elegance that characterizes the” not to consider it is “in crisis or unable to decide” , the Union seems tired by this long-term negotiation. It still faces a “polycrise” that is not resolved, migration, with a planned early March summit focusing on Turkey, then another two weeks later, which will be decisive for the future of space Schengen free movement. The divisions and the lack of solidarity among the member countries have never seemed so deep.

The negotiation with Mr Cameron, it amplified the movement towards a Europe “à la carte”. Even though the outcome of the British referendum remains very uncertain: a possible non-British voters would nullify trading days but cause another earthquake for a full inquiry Union



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