Meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) on 17 October 2019
Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the meeting.
We have concluded a discussion among the leaders about the Brexit deal that our negotiator agreed with the UK government earlier today. First of all, many thanks to Michel Barnier and his team for your outstanding work. The European Council endorsed this deal and it looks like we are very close to the final stretch. Why has a deal that was impossible yesterday, become possible today?
Firstly, the new version of the deal has been positively assessed by Ireland. I've said from the beginning that we would always stand behind Ireland, and not force a deal unfavourable to Dublin.
Secondly, the deal has been positively assessed by the European Commission. This gives us certainty that it is favourable and safe for the citizens of the European Union.
The key change in comparison with the earlier version of the deal is Prime Minister Johnson's acceptance to have customs checks at the points of entry into Northern Ireland. This compromise will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the Single Market.
The reality is that today we have a deal, which allows us to avoid chaos and an atmosphere of conflict between the EU27 and the United Kingdom. Therefore, the European Council invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that this agreement can enter into force on the 1st of November 2019. Now we are all waiting for the votes in both Parliaments.
On a more personal note, what I feel today is sadness. Because in my heart, I will always be a Remainer. And I hope that if our British friends decide to return one day, our door will always be open.
Preben Aamann, European Council President Spokesperson
+32 2 281 51 50
+32 476 85 05 43
Latest News from
"We urge member states to intensify their support to Lebanon" - joint letter of President Michel and President von der Leyen to the members of the European Council07/08/2020 13:25:00
Joint letter of President Michel and President von der Leyen to the members of the European Council.
EU support for Italian biotech's red blood cell technology to treat rare diseases07/08/2020 09:25:00
EIB signs €30 million agreement supporting EryDel's red blood cell (RBC) innovation strategy.
Read-out of the phone call between Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab06/08/2020 13:25:00
Commission President von der Leyen spoke this morning with Hassan Diab, Prime Minister of Lebanon.
State aid: Commission approves €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations and their related entities affected by the coronavirus outbreak06/08/2020 10:25:00
The European Commission has approved a €665 million Austrian scheme to support non-profit organisations (NPOs) and their related entities in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon05/08/2020 16:10:00
Statement given by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google05/08/2020 13:25:00
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google under the EU Merger Regulation.
State aid: Commission approves €200 million voucher scheme to support access to broadband services by low-income families in Italy05/08/2020 09:25:00
The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules a €200 million voucher scheme to help low-income families in Italy access high-speed broadband services.
Declaration of the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the postponement of the Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong04/08/2020 13:25:00
As set out in the Council conclusions of 24 July, the EU is following closely the political situation in Hong Kong and reiterates that it is essential that the Legislative Council elections take place in an environment which is conducive to the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms as enshrined in the Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
Dietary sugars – new date in 2021 for safety assessment04/08/2020 11:33:00
The timing of EFSA’s assessment of the safety of dietary sugars has been revised due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the review of the exceptionally high volume of scientific information being considered.