STA, 17 October 2019 - Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec welcomed the deal on an orderly Brexit reached on Thursday by the EU and British negotiators and expressed hope that the deal will get support in the UK, as "time is really running out".
Šarec said he was happy with the deal as he spoke to the press on the sidelines of the two-day European Council meeting, which also discusses relations with Turkey, EU long-term budget and priorities for the next five years.
Asked whether Brexit would happen on 31 October, Šarec said that the EU leaders would first need to get acquainted with the report from the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and to see what the sentiment was.
The Slovenian prime minister hopes that "this agreement, which is certainly a better result than no deal at all," would not be rejected by Britain as it is one of the last, if not the last options.
According to Šarec, everything depends now on the British parliament and the European Parliament, while the EU leaders also need to get acquainted with the deal in the first place.
He personally believes that Barnier has reached a good deal as a good and experienced negotiator.
Šarec was also asked about the media reports on the alleged request by British PM Boris Johnson that the EU leaders exclude the possibility of a new postponement of Brexit and effectively help him push the deal through parliament.
He said that he and his EU counterparts needed to get acquainted with details first and that the opinion of Ireland and the European Commission was important.
Šarec criticised the entire process of looking for a Brexit deal, which he believes does not contribute to the reputation of the EU and the United Kingdom.
"Three years have passed, with more important topics being pushed aside," he lamented, adding that "everybody would like to see a solution. If we are not capable of making this happen, let them stay."
The deal was first announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and later presented at a press conference by Barnier, who said that an orderly Brexit could be implemented by the end of the month.
The key difference compared to the agreement with the former British PM Theresa May is the elimination of the disputable Irish backstop, which would be replaced with a new approach.
Prime Minister Johnson has called on the British MPs to back the deal. The British parliament decided today in a narrow vote to hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss the deal.