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The BBC’s Political Editor has explained what move the EU is likely to make next, and it may come as a shock to Brexiteers. Ms Kuenssberg claimed Brussels is set to take a cautious approach to Boris Johnson’s plans which risk overriding elements of the withdrawal agreement if a trade deal has not been reached by October 15.
The journalist made the remarks on Twitter, as she shared a thread on the EU’s next move.
Ms Kuenssberg said: “Well worth a read – suggests EU unlikely to walk out of talks on a deal – and look at a court case instead…
“Chimes with word from an ambassador yesterday who suggested Brussels likely to pursue UK in court rather than go for explosive bust up that prevents a deal.”
The thread she shared was from Mujtaba Rahman, the managing director for Europe at Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm, who suggested the EU is moving towards legal action.
He wrote: “I think the EU is converging on a calibrated legal – not political – response to
@10DowningStreet provocations. This is good.
“A cautious, de-escalatory EU approach means Bxl/27 won’t blow up/suspend trade negotiations.
“Will keep talking – before & after Oct Council.
“BUT: EU will seek legal remedy at ECJ – whether or not IM Bill gets on statute book.
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“This signal important – for obvs reasons.
“As @vonderleyen made clear in her State of Union, no willingness in Bxl/capitals to renegotiate WA.
“However, there could be some flexibility in its implementation to address UK’s concerns.”
The comments come after Brussels responded furiously to the UK Government’s Internal Market Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Commons.
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The Bill will hand the Government the power to change aspects of the withdrawal agreement, which Mr Johnson agreed with Brussels last October.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned such a move would erode all trust between the two sides, and said the EU was unwilling to renegade on the deal.
In her annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament, she said: “This Withdrawal Agreement took three years to negotiate and we worked relentlessly on it line-by-line, word-by-word, and together we succeeded.
“The EU and the UK jointly agreed that it was the best and only way for ensuring peace on the island of Ireland and we will never backtrack on that.
“This agreement has been ratified by this house and the House of Commons.
“It cannot be unilaterally changed, disregarded, disapplied.
“This is a matter of law and trust and good faith.”
Mr Johnson has defended the move as a legal “safety net”, incase the EU fail to adhere to its treaty obligations.
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