EUROPE: ‘UK ready to work’ with Cyprus on British Bases in event of bad Brexit

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In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, London seeks an agreement with the Republic of Cyprus and Brussels to secure the operation of British military bases on the island and allow Cypriot citizens who live and work there to carry on doing so normally, a 10 Downing Street spokesperson said.

The smooth continuation of military operations at RAF Akrotiri and Dhekelia and the daily lives of people living and working in those sovereign areas is set out in a protocol that forms part of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Exiting the EU without a deal, however, as UK Prime Minister May and EU leaders say is possible, would mean that the Withdrawal Agreement is invalid – and the same goes for the protocols that accompany it (on Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and the bases in Cyprus).

In response to a Cyprus News Agency question, the 10 Downing Street spokesperson said: “In the negotiations for Withdrawal, we were pleased that we were able to work constructively with the EU and Cyprus to reach agreement on how the unique arrangements that apply in the Sovereign Base Areas would operate after the UK`s withdrawal from the EU.

“Whether there is a deal or not, the Government has been clear that we stand ready to work with the Republic of Cyprus to minimise any disruption to people, businesses and the effectiveness of the military bases.”

A diplomatic source in London said the assumption has been that the British Bases issue will be rather easier to resolve in a ‘no deal’ scenario than the rest of the arrangements that will be required.