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''No deal' or no Brexit, EU prepared for every scenario

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''No deal' or no Brexit, EU prepared for every scenario

G20 family photo - Photo © European Union 2018

(BUENOS AIRES) - If the UK Parliament were to reject the 'only possible deal' in its upcoming Brexit vote, the EU was prepared for the alternative 'no deal' or no Brexit at all, EU president Donald Tusk told the G20 summit.

The G20 brings together 19 countries plus the EU. G20 members account for over 80% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) and they host almost two-thirds of the world's population.

At the two-day summit, the leaders focused on a number of issues, and adopted a declaration focusing on the future of work, infrastructure for development, a sustainable food future and on gender equality.

The EU was an important advocate of multi-lateralism and the international rules-based trade at the summit.

The summit was also an opportunity to build a positive trade agenda and to reconfirm political support among G20 leaders to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in order to improve its efficiency and functioning.

The G20 Leaders' Declaration stated: "The system is currently falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement. We therefore support the necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning. We will review progress at our next summit."

Global challenges were also on the agenda. Leaders focused on the fight against climate change.

They noted the outcome of the last IPCC report ahead of the COP24 meeting in December 2018. Signatories of the Paris Agreement reconfirmed their commitment to its full implementation.

They also discussed sustainable development, including the 2030 agenda and sustainable development goals. They confirmed they will continue to work together to seek a consensus-based solution to address the impacts of the digitalisation of the economy on the international tax system with an update in 2019 and a final report by 2020.

The G20 leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They committed to the full implementation of The Hamburg G20 Leaders Statement on Countering Terrorism.

The declaration stated: "We will step up our efforts in fighting terrorist and proliferation financing, and money laundering. We urge the digital industry to work together to fight exploitation of the internet and social media for terrorist purposes."

The leaders of the EU countries present at the G20 held their coordination meeting in the margins of the summit. In the context of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, they agreed the urgent need to establish what happened on 2 October 2018.

Ahead of the summit, EU Council president Tusk urged the G20 leaders to address pressing issues such as trade wars and the Russian aggression in Ukraine:

"I see no reason why the G20 leaders shouldn't have a meaningful discussion about solving these problems. Especially because all the instruments lie in their hands. The only condition is good will. We also cannot underestimate other issues which remain difficult for some leaders, such as human rights, freedom of press and basic safety of journalists," he said.

The European Union is a full member of the G20 alongside four of its member states: France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. In addition, Spain is a permanent invitee of the G20.

G20 Leaders' Declaration: Building consensus for fair and sustainable development

Facts and figures about the EU and the G20 (European Commission)


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