(Almost) nobody is happy with it. But: “Britain’s exit from the European Union is a fact. The decision was taken in a democratic way.” Establishes the County Council of the European Union in Lower Austria. Adds the Austrian delegation from the EPP: “We have to look forward”.
Yesterday, Tuesday, after more than four years in the context of an already intense week in Brussels, the so-called post-Brexit deal, that is, the free trade agreement between the European Union and former member Great Britain, was approved. In the Parliament of the European Union. The first Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, applauded and drew “clear red lines” on the Good Friday deal with Ireland. With the vote, “the legal framework for future cooperation is contractually determined,” says Martin Eichtenger.
This is also important for Lower Austria, because without consent “there would be no situation without a deal. This would also have negative consequences for Lower Austria.” After all, Great Britain is Austria’s ninth most important export partner and the twelfth most important of Lower Austria. According to Eichtenger, “goods worth more than 200 million” were exported from Lower Austria to Great Britain in the first half of 2020. Every year “more than a million liters of wine from Austria, the lion’s share of it from Lower Austria” are consumed in the Kingdom. United. According to Eichteninger, the agreement is a “compromise”.
The fact that this compromise has advantages and disadvantages apart from the basic principles has also been made clear by the European Parliament Vice President and Parliamentarian from the EPP Otamar Karas. Great Britain, for example, is still participating in the European Union’s research funding program called Horizon Europe (“This is a success story, and it’s very important”).
But with the Erasmus plus student exchange program, the UK refused to “continue” after 33 years and, according to the British government, “for cost reasons”. For Imar Karas, that not only shows how difficult these negotiations are. But this is also a “noticeable disadvantage, especially for young people.” And he, Karas, deeply regrets it.