Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, speaking after EU leaders approved on November 25 the agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, said that the day was a historic one but in a negative way “because a state, the UK, is leaving the EU”.
Borissov, one of the heads of government who attended the Brussels meeting, said that the agreement under Article 50 and the political declaration had been approved “but this is not the end of the process”.
There would still be work on future relations over the next two years, he said.
Maximum good relations were needed so that there could be co-operation “especially through special services” on fighting terrorism, trafficking of human beings, illegal drugs and money laundering, Borissov said.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister said that the EU should show particular vigilance regarding the rights and interests of citizens, the need to maintain ambitious conditions for equality, including in the case of Bulgaria and Britain.
“For Bulgarian citizens who live in the UK, for Bulgarian firms and businesses, but also on a reciprocal basis, because many Britons live in Bulgaria,” Borissov said, noting that the agreement provides for the settlement of the status of European citizens living, work and study in the UK with reciprocal guarantees.
He said that the UK should continue to respect financial parameters.
“To comply with all the arrangements so that there is no legal vacuum for our companies, to avoid the hard boundary between Ireland and Northern Ireland, that we have agreed.”
“EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations,” European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.
Deutsche Welle reported that later, Tusk posted another tweet saying that despite “the difficult process of ratification” and negotiations to come, the EU and Britain would always remain friends.
The proposed deal outlines how Britain can keep close to the EU market after a two to four-year transition. The treaty also covers financial matters, citizens’ rights and Brexit’s impact on Northern Ireland, and sets out hopes for future security and trade ties between the EU and Britain, DW said.