The British Bases is one of the issues for which temporary arrangements will apply should the United Kingdom exit the European Union without an agreement on March 29, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of cabinet, he said he had briefed the Council of Ministers on the latest developments regarding Brexit.
“After the latest developments in London, all scenarios are possible, therefore the preparations which started in October 2017 for a possible exit without an agreement have been intensified,” he said.
These preparations are being made in cooperation with other EU member states and the EU itself.
“Of course we would like a withdrawal, which is the desire of the British people, to be on the basis of an agreement. If this does not prove possible, all member states and the EU must be prepared to manage such a scenario,” he said.
Asked how the agreement with the British Bases would be affected in the event of a hard Brexit, the minister said that the issue had been part of EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s negotiations with London, with the participation of the Republic of Cyprus.
An agreement was reached, but if the UK leaves without a deal, then the specific text will not have any validity.
The aim, which he said was feasible, was that there should be no change to the current situation, particularly as regards the rights of Cypriots living and/or working in the SBAs.
“This is one of the issues high up on the agenda of the European Commission which will be dealt with in the event of no agreement,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said there were no bilateral contacts between the Republic and Britain, clarifying that all discussions are at the level of the EU with the UK.
Asked whether there should be such bilateral talks in the event of no agreement, Christodoulides said: “In the event that there is no withdrawal agreement, the EU and the UK will adopt a temporary arrangement — it will not be a final one — in many important sectors regarding their relationship until there is an agreement,” he said.
The issue of the bases will be one of the issues for which there must be a temporary arrangement.
“The EU and member states have selected a specific number of important issues and the British bases is one of them,” the minister said.