BRUSSELS, December 14. /TASS/. The resumption of talks on an agreement of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) is impossible, but Brussels is set to establish close relations with London after the process is completed, says the final EU summit statement on Brexit.
"The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation," the statement reads.
The document also reiterates that the EU "wishes to establish as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future."
"It [the European Council] stands ready to embark on preparations immediately after signature of the Withdrawal Agreement to ensure that negotiations can start as soon as possible after the UK’s withdrawal [on March 29, 2018]," the statement reads.
EU leaders also stressed that the Irish border Brexit backstop will remain in the agreement "as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market."
"If the backstop were nevertheless to be triggered, it would apply temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement that ensures that a hard border is avoided," the final statement reads. "In such a case, the Union would use its best endeavours to negotiate and conclude expeditiously a subsequent agreement that would replace the backstop, and would expect the same of the United Kingdom, so that the backstop would only be in place for as long as strictly necessary."
The European council also reiterated its call for "work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes." This provision hints that the European Union would maintain its preparations for Brexit under all scenarios, including the no-deal withdrawal.
EU braces for no-deal scenario
The European Union is determined to preserve the previously agreed deal on Brexit, but has to prepare for the less favorable no-deal scenario, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, commenting on the results of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.
"We want to prepare, both at the European and national level... for work on the no-deal Brexit scenario. However, our desire is to preserve the deal," Merkel said, adding that the current deal will not be renegotiated.
The German chancellor also said that the so-called Irish border backstop is necessary as a guarantee, adding that the European Union wishes "to overcome the transitional backstop phase as soon as possible," so that "all sides could continue their development in the direction which they see fit."
No-deal Brexit details due next week
Meanwhile, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told reporters that the European Commission will publish on December 19 all information on preparations for the no-deal Brexit scenario.
"On December 19, the European Commission will publish all information on Brexit which may be useful if there is no deal, all our so-called preparatory measures," the European official said at a news conference to sum up the results of the first day of the EU summit.
The United Kingdom should convey its Brexit deal expectations to the European Union in the coming weeks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told reporters, commenting on the results of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.
"The European Union still need to say what they want from us instead of asking us what we want. In the coming weeks, we would like them to explain what they expect from us. We want some clarifications," he continued, adding that UK Prime Minister Theresa May should "formulate her expectations from the EU in a constructive manner."
According to Juncker, Brussels sees no results of Theresa May’s struggle to win parliamentary approval for the 535-page deal on United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The European official once again reiterated that the deal, approved by London and Brussels on November 25, cannot be renegotiated. "We can add some clarifications, but there will be no new talks on the agreement," he said.
Earlier in the day, May left the EU summit right after the discussion on Brexit was over. She gave no comments to the media.