(8 January 2019) In a speech delivered at the London School of Economics, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid down some leading principles for the future partnership negotiation between the EU and UK. The EU stands ready to move towards a partnership of “unprecedented scope”, but limits might intervene due to the tight negotiation time frame and eventual divergences pursued by the UK.
Von der Leyen clearly stated the more divergences the UK will seek for, the more distant the future partnership will get. The access to EU’s single market can be weakened without an agreement on a level playing field in sectors like environment and labour.
With a tight negotiation period of almost 11 months, the partnership cannot cover every single aspect. Priorities will clearly be set, the integrity of EU’s single market and customs union being one of them. The other EU red lines will have to be established in the negotiation mandate.
Transcription of President von der Leyen speech