Blog: Talking Europe – Brexit: ‘It is up to the UK to decide where they want to be,’ says EU Commission VP Schinas – FRANCE 24

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“The European Union will exhaust all margins to have an agreement before the end of the transition period,” the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, says as the rhetoric on Brexit heats up between Britain and the EU. Speaking to FRANCE 24, Schinas says Britain must now decide whether it prefers ”a robust commercial relationship with the European Union, or if they want to live alone in this very uncertain and increasingly difficult world”.

The commissioner also speaks out against what he calls a “19th century” rhetoric from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid a maritime dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.

 

“I feel we are entering a stage where Turkey represents more of a systemic problem beyond the situation in the Aegean with drillings, and the issues with Greece and Cyprus. Turkey – from Libya to Syria, Kurdistan, now Nagorno-Karabakh, is challenging a certain way of sorting out international problems and conflicts.”

“So I think we are now entering a stage where the European Union would have to decide globally on this systemic threat. And our Turkish friends should also decide once and for all who they want to be with in this world.”

As the commissioner in charge of the EU’s new proposed Migration and Asylum Pact, Schinas insists that migrants evacuated from the incinerated Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, will be moved to a “more modern facility”.

“The Kara Tepe provisional installation, is only temporary. It will not be a permanent solution.”

“We are working with the Greek government to build a new modern more European facility, in which the EU will be more actively involved. But let’s be honest, none of these solutions will be lasting, unless we have agreement on the overall policy framework that we are looking for with our new proposal.”

 

Produced by Mathilde Bénézet and Isabelle Romero

 

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