Von der Leyen says she cannot say whether a deal will be stuck or not

Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a frank assessment of the state of Brexit negotiations to the European Parliament, told MEPs that she cannot say whether a deal will be struck or not.

Von der Leyen said that despite what she deemed as genuine progress in the talks with the UK in some areas, there are still three issues that can make the difference between a deal and no deal… the level playing field, governance and fisheries.

Von der Leyen said that these are decisive days for our negotiations with the United Kingdom. “But I cannot tell you today, if in the end there will be a deal. There has been genuine progress on a number of important questions: on law enforcement and judicial cooperation; on social security coordination. And also on goods, services and transport we now have the outline of a possible final text. In these areas there are still some important issues to agree, but they should be manageable.”

In her speech she added that the next days are going to be decisive. The European Union is well prepared for a no-deal-scenario, but prefers an agreement.

“One thing is clear: Whatever the outcome, there has to be – and there will be – a clear difference between being a full member of the Union and being just a valued partner.”

“I am fully aware of the challenges the current situation is creating especially for this Parliament and the ratification procedure”, adding “I want to sincerely thank you for your support and understanding. As in the past, we will walk those last miles together.”