The EU’s chief civil servant, Martin Selmayr, on February 4 tweeted that the EU side is unwilling to consider legally-binding assurances that would help score domestic political points for British Prime Minister Theresa May as she struggles to change the Withdrawal Agreement.
Selmayr, after meeting UK MPs, members of the House of Commons Brexit committee had confirmed that the EU was to have begun preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
Responding on Twitter to reports of comments made by British parliamentarians, which suggested the EU would consider legally binding assurances on how a withdrawal agreement for the United Kingdom would operate, Selmayr said that “nobody on the EU side is considering this” option.
Selmayr later addressed what would help to get the Withdrawal Agreement through the British House of Commons, He said that the answers given by UK parliamentarians were “inconclusive” and added, “The meeting confirmed that the EU did well to start its no-deal preparations in December 2017.”
A European Commission official told New Europe that Selmayr did not snub the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, by not meeting with him and claiming that the parliamentarians asked to meet Selmayr and that the secretary-general “is open to receive them…in full transparency and respect for national parliaments”.
According to the same source familiar with the talks, Selmayr asked what might help secure majority support in the UK parliament for the Withdrawal Agreement and was told “not making any offers”.