Pellegrini: EU Must Preserve Unity in Future Talks with UK

Pellegrini: EU Must Preserve Unity in Future Talks with UK

Brussels, December 13 (TASR-correspondent) – Following the result of the early parliamentary election that took place in the UK on Thursday, it will be key for the EU to preserve unity in future talks with the British, stated Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) at the end of the two-day EU summit in Brussels.

“This is not good news for the EU. For the first time in history a country will leave [the EU],” said Pellegrini.

“It will be crucial for us to maintain unity during much more difficult negotiations,” said the premier, adding that there was a call to leave the talks to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier at the summit. Pellegrini pointed out that the results of the British election also indicate the possibility of complications in relation to Scotland.

According to Pellegrini, there is a high probability that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “has a majority in Parliament that will allow him to ratify as soon as possible an agreement” on the UK’s exit from the EU. The head of the Slovak Government stressed that over the next 11 months the participating states will have to negotiate all agreements regarding co-existence between the EU and the UK, which will be “extremely demanding”.

“There’s still a possibility that by June 30 we could extend this deadline by one or two years, but it’s uncertain whether the UK will apply for this,” added Pellegrini.

According to the Slovak prime minister, if trade and security agreements are not reached within 11 months, the UK would become a third country in relation to the EU.