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Press Release


Response to rejection of Brexit deal in the UK parliament

Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA

The Slovenian Government regrets that the British parliament was not able yesterday to confirm the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, as agreed in the negotiation process. As has been pointed out multiple times, most recently in a letter from European Commission President Juncker and from European Council President Tusk to British Prime Minister May, the withdrawal agreement represents a fair compromise. The adopted wording of the withdrawal agreement is in our opinion, too, a balanced instrument of law which on the one hand enables the orderly and controlled withdrawal of the United Kingdom from its European ties, while on the other hand it appropriately observes EU law and protects the rights of its Member States. Slovenia still hopes that in the coming days and weeks it will be possible to find a sufficient measure of political judgement and arrive at a way of avoiding the worst possible outcome, that is a withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a deal. Implementation of the agreed Brexit deal remains the best solution. This is also a basis for constructive dialogue and the framing of future relations between the EU and the United Kingdom after 2021. 

Slovenia of course desires the EU to maintain productive and all-embracing cooperation with the United Kingdom even after its withdrawal from the EU. This applies particularly to the fields of economic cooperation and trade, security, defence and foreign policy. In principle, it is hard to imagine establishing the necessary trust required by such cooperation without an orderly withdrawal. Slovenia takes the view that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU should not compromise the acquired rights of citizens on either side. We continue to devote particular attention to this, and we expect the commitments that have been given to be respected by the United Kingdom. 

As a responsible Member State, at this point Slovenia desires the government of the United Kingdom to clarify its intentions regarding the next steps as soon as possible. Equally, our efforts are focused on reducing the negative impacts being brought by the British withdrawal from the EU, including the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Along with the other Member States of the EU27, Slovenia remains united and responsible, as was the case throughout the negotiation process. Slovenia therefore also supports a continuation of the process of confirmation of the withdrawal agreement on the part of the EU. On the EU level Slovenia is constructively involved in the adoption of urgent legislation for the eventuality of a no-deal withdrawal, since a large part of the substantive areas are ultimately under the exclusive or predominant jurisdiction of the community. Here in Slovenia we are also examining the necessary adjustments in the event that EU-level measures prove insufficient. Slovenia will guarantee an appropriate level of rights for British citizens already living in Slovenia. In this we are counting on a reciprocal approach from the British side.

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