The European Commission’s General Secretary Celine Gauer will visit Cyprus early in March to prepare for the UK’s no-deal exit from the EU and its impact on the status of the British Sovereign Bases on the eastern Mediterranean island nation, the European Commission’s chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas confirmed on Monday.
Schinas refused to comment on whether there were already unilateral measures prepared on behalf of the Commission regarding the British bases in Cyprus. He would also not comment on whether a “hard border” would be necessary for the bases if the Withdrawal Agreement was not ratified on time.
“Of course, we are involved in the preparation. That’s why our Director-General is touring the capitals,” added Schinas regarding the visit of Gauer to Cyprus. According to the Commission, “no alternative preparation can substitute for the effective treatment of the matter as it exists in the Withdrawal Agreement itself”.
Speaking from the Cypriot side of the equation, the country’s Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides met with the EU’’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and assuring the latter that Cyprus continues to value firm unity among the 27 European Union members, with both men agreeing that the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be renegotiated.
While commenting on the situation regarding the Brexit negotiations, Christodoulides stressed the need for the EU to continue its efforts to foster an orderly UK withdrawal through the already negotiated EU-UK agreement. The two exchanged views on the sort of emergency measures that may be needed regarding the British Sovereign Bases in Cyprus, with Christodoulides providing details about Nicosia’s preparations for the March 29 Brexit deadline.