EU Picks New Locations for UK-Housed Agencies

(CN) – Representatives of the 27 remaining EU states on Monday selected new homes for two institutions currently housed in Britain, a clear signal the European Union is ready to move on with life post-Brexit.

After receiving requests from 23 European cities to host two agencies currently based in Britain – the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority – the 27 EU ministers selected Amsterdam to house the medicines agency and Paris as the location for the banking authority.

The selections were made by secret ballot. The European Commission will now draft formal legislative proposals regarding the selections so that the European Parliament can sign off.

Other cities interested in the banking authority included Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Prague, Luxembourg, Vienna and Warsaw. The agency works to ensure effective and consistent regulation and supervision across the EU’s banking sector, and also assesses risks and vulnerabilities in the system.

Athens, Barcelona, Bonn, Bratislava, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Lille (France), Milan, Porto (Portugal), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm, Malta, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb (Croatia) vied for the medicines agency, which is tasked with scientific evaluation, supervision and safety monitoring of pharmaceuticals in the EU.

While British voters approved leaving the EU nearly a year and a half ago, the divorce proceedings have been anything but amicable. On Monday, EU officials said they’ve begun planning contingencies in the event those negotiating the U.K.’s exit from Europe cannot agree on the terms of the divorce.

And like many divorces, Brexit is all about the money: British prime minister Theresa May has promised the U.K. will cover its commitments to the EU’s seven-year budget cycle, which ends in 2020 and amounts to about $26.5 billion, as well as an additional $40 to $50 billion for the pensions of Brits employed by the EU while Britain was a member.

However, May has also refused to put her promises in writing until the EU outlines what a future trade deal will look like.

On Monday, Germany’s foreign minister Michael Roth said no EU states will come to Britain’s defense until it makes its financial promises official.

“I’ve already made it clear that the British will have to budge and they will have to comply with their contractual obligations. Nobody can release them from this.” Roth said.

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