The new Luxembourgish parliament convened a hearing on Tuesday 20 November to discuss their stance on the new Brexit deal in the run-up to the special EU summit this Sunday 25 November, intended to finalise the agreement.
Foreign secretary Jean Asselborn and most representatives of the political parties expressed relief that an agreement has been reached at all, even though they must still await the outcome of the meaningful vote that decides whether a bill will be passed before 29 March 2019 or not.
Asselborn emphasised that the EU and Luxembourg will also need to prepare for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit. Alex Bodry (LSAP) underlined that in the case of “chaotic separation”, Luxembourg will need to have a strategy in place.
In general, most parties agreed with the proposition that the UK will remain a member of the European Single Market until a new trade deal has been achieved. Claude Wiseler (CSV) considered this very important to prevent social and economic chaos and particularly to avoid risking the peace between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a sentiment shared by all of his co-parliamentarians.
They agreed that the deal aims to preserve UK and EU citizens’ rights, although they pointed out many questions related to the concrete implementation of this intention. Unlike the other speakers, Fernand Kartheiser (ADR) congratulated Britain on Brexit, which he considers the retrieval of nationalist values. Like most other members of parliament, André Bauler (DP) deplored the loss of the UK as a business partner and there was a general hope that the separation might be reversible in the future.