Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on European Council meetings of 17 and 18 October 2019 - Consilium


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Please allow me to present my last report from the European Council. Let us focus on three matters.

Firstly, the European Council condemned Turkey’s unilateral military action in North East Syria. No-one is fooled by the so‑called ceasefire. Turkey needs to end its military action permanently, withdraw its forces and respect international humanitarian law. Any other course means unacceptable human suffering, a victory for Daʼesh and a serious threat to European security. The European Council also reconfirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, faced with Turkey's illegal drillings off its coast.

When it comes to Brexit, the European Council endorsed the deal reached by our negotiator and Prime Minister Johnson's government. As you know, it is based on the deal that we agreed with the previous government. The changes concern the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, formerly known as the backstop. Prime Minister Johnson's acceptance to have customs checks at the points of entry into Northern Ireland will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the Single Market. The revised deal was possible and acceptable to the EU because: firstly, it had the support of Ireland; secondly, it had the support of the European Commission, ensuring that all our negotiating objectives were met; and thirdly, because it avoids a chaotic no-deal Brexit.

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