President of the Republic of Lithuania

Brexit negotiations need faster progress

2018-07-04

Wednesday, July 4, Vilnius  President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with chief Brexit negotiator of the European Union Michel Barnier and discussed the course of Brexit negotiations and their progress. At the meeting, the President also underscored Lithuania’s priorities in the negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom and on the new model of future relations between the U.K. and the EU.

Both parties have already managed to agree on the preservation of all acquired rights for the Lithuanian and EU nationals that presently reside in the United Kingdom.  An agreement has been reached on the United Kingdom’s financial obligations and a transitional period before the end of 2020. However, the negotiations are lagging behind the schedule. Solutions on avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland have not been found yet.  The U.K. has not made up its mind on the future relationship model yet. This raises the risk of failure to reach the agreement before March 2019, the set date for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal.

According to the President, everybody would lose in case of uncontrolled Brexit.  Therefore, faster progress is needed in Brexit negotiations in addressing the remaining issues of the U.K.’s withdrawal and establishing a model of future relations that is favorable for both parties.

For Lithuania, it is paramount to preserve defense and trade relations with the United Kingdom in the future. Despite Brexit, the United Kingdom will remain our NATO ally with which we will continue enhancing regional and transatlantic security. Nevertheless, it is important to preserve cooperation on security at the EU level as well.  High-principled United Kingdom’s position on sanctions to Russia, accumulated experience in fighting against propaganda, cyber-attacks and other hybrid threats is necessary for the entire Europe. 

With the risk of transatlantic trade wars ongoing, it is topical for both parties to achieve the most extensive free trade agreement. The United Kingdom is the seventh largest export market of Lithuania; therefore, avoiding trade barriers with the United Kingdom is in the economic interests of Lithuania.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.07.05 12:53

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