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Costa reveals hopes for smooth Brexit negotiations following landslide election night

Prime-Minister António Costa has revealed this morning in Brussels that he hopes “the results of the UK election night will guarantee an orderly exit” from the European Union, saying it will be “a relief” when Brexit can be carried out.

“There has to be a Brexit which is a properly negotiated, agreed on, and prepared,” said the head of government, considering that, in this sense, “of course it is a relief”, because otherwise it would have been dragged out, which would have “consequences, both for citizens’ rights and for businesses.”

The prime minister didn’t venture to say whether it will be possible to deliver Brexit by the 31st of January because “it depends on a number of factors”, not only internally but also at European level, with the necessary final approval of the agreement from the European Parliament.

“Now let’s wait for the final result and see if the new British Parliament finally approves the agreement. As we all know, this is the fourth agreement that the European Union has negotiated with the United Kingdom. So I hope the fourth will be the last, “he commented.

During Costa’s visit to Brussels, the climate emergency was meant to be one of the main topics, partly due to protests by Greenpeace activists, on the day Ursula von der Leyen presented her plan to combat global warming to the European Council.

Without being on the official agenda, Brexit was an ever-present theme. In Brussels, those who commented on the subject classified it as “a national theme” on which some heads of state or government refused to give their opinion on, such as the Danish Prime-Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“Regarding Brexit, I don’t even have an opinion. The upcoming UK elections is a national matter,” he said at this week’s summit, admitting that “if it is possible to reach an agreement on Brexit after the elections, from Denmark’s point of view, we really need to move on, as there are other issues in Europe that Brexit is overshadowing. “

Other leaders repeated a similar sentiment, saying that Brexit “should be organized in an orderly manner” and the transitional period used in a way “to get the best deal possible for everyone, including Europe,” as Belgian Prime-Minister Sophie Wilmès stated.

Latvian Prime-Minister Arturs Kari?š also considered the UK election be an “internal matter”, on which “no comment can be made”.

“Our goal is to have a great relationship with the UK, which is an important trading and security partner. After Brexit, it’s important to understand how to handle business and security matters. We are a strong partner of Great Britain, whether they are in the EU or not, “he added.