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Belgium: European Council endorses new Brexit agreement - Tusk

1 17.10.2019 Инфо

W/S European Council Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar, and EU's Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, arriving at press conference in Brussels
W/S Stage with Barnier, Varadkar, Tusk, and Juncker
SOT, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council: "The European Council endorsed this deal and it looks like we are very close to the final stretch. Why has a deal that was impossible yesterday, become possible today? Firstly, the new version of the deal has been positively assessed by Ireland. I've said from the beginning that we would always stand behind Ireland and not force a deal unfavourable to Dublin. Secondly, the deal has been positively assessed by the European Commission. This gives us certainty that it is favourable and safe for the citizens of the European Union. The key change, in comparison to the earlier version of the deal, is Prime Minister Johnson's acceptance to have customs checks at the point of entry into Northern Ireland. This compromise will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the single-market."
C/U Camera screen, showing Tusk *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council: "The reality is that today we have a deal which allows us to avoid chaos and an atmosphere of conflict between the EU27 and the United Kingdom. Therefore, the European Council invited the Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council, to ensure that this agreement can enter into force on the 1st of November, 2019."
C/U Journalists *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council: "On a more personal note, what I feel today is, frankly speaking, sadness. Because in my heart I will always be a 'Remainer'. And I hope that, if our British friends, decide to return one day, our door will always be open."
W/S Journalists *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland: "And also, as the leader of a small nation, I've really felt enormous solidarity from my European partners, as sometimes people in small countries believe that they can be swallowed up if they join big organisations like the EU. And I think it's been demonstrated in the past two years that the European Union really is a union of nations and also of peoples, and one in which small states are protected and respected."
C/U Journalists *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland: "Like President Tusk, I have mixed feelings today. I really regret that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. But I absolutely respect their decision to do so. It's little bit like an old friend that's going on a journey, or an adventure without us, and we really hope it works out for them. But I think there will always be a place at the table for the United Kingdom, if they ever choose to come back. And I'm certain, no matter what happens, we will have good relations with the United Kingdom; a good partnership - political, security, and economic, into the future."
W/S End of press conference; officials leaving
W/S End of press conference; officials leaving
SCRIPT
The European Council has endorsed the new Brexit deal according to its president, Donald Tusk, who spoke at a press conference in Brussels on Thursday, just a few hours after the deal was announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Tusk said that the new deal was agreed upon after changes were made to the previous agreement to ensure that border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland could be avoided.
"The key change, in comparison to the earlier version of the deal, is Prime Minister Johnson's acceptance to have customs checks at the point of entry into Northern Ireland. This compromise will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the single-market," said Tusk.
The head of the EC also said he regrets UK's departure from the union on a personal level, but that the "door will always be open" should the "British friends, decide to return one day."
The Taoiseach of Ireland Leo Varadkar said he felt "enormous solidarity" from the EU representatives, adding, "it's been demonstrated in the past two years that the European Union really is a union of nations and also of peoples, and one in which small states are protected and respected."
"I really regret that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. But I absolutely respect their decision to do so. It's little bit like an old friend that's going on a journey, or an adventure without us, and we really hope it works out for them. But I think there will always be a place at the table for the United Kingdom, if they ever choose to come back," he added.