News

24.04.2018

Brexit "Half-Time Score"

The withdrawal and transitional agreement will be negotiated jointly and supplemented by a framework agreement on future relations.

UK-EU: 0:3

So far, the EU has been successful in the following areas:

  • Great Britain pays full membership fees until the end of the transitional period
  • a withdrawal payment in the tens of billions was accepted by the United Kingdom
  • as a catch-all solution for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland (subject to a better proposal), Northern Ireland's position in the EU single market is enshrined in the Treaty text

In detail, the current "score" looks as described below.

 

Withdrawal and transitional agreements

  • The withdrawal agreement will be extended by a transitional agreement and jointly negotiated. The withdrawal and transitional agreement provides for the separation of BREXIT into a political and an economic withdrawal. To this end, the EU has submitted a 120-page draft treaty, which will certainly be considerably expanded.Politically, the British will resign - as planned - on 29 March 2019 at 24:00. They will therefore no longer participate in the next elections to the European Parliament (May 2019) and the reconstitution of the EU Commission (November 2019). All meetings of the EU Council of Ministers and all subcommittees will also be held from this date without British participation.
    • According to the draft treaty, however, the economic withdrawal will be postponed until 31 December 2020. During the 21-month transition phase, all EU law will continue to apply (acquis communautaire). The internal market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice remain temporarily intact. In addition, Great Britain will remain fully liable for payment until the end of the transitional phase.
    • Since the British will also have to adopt all EU amendments during the transitional phase, but will no longer be able to co-determine them, the British press speaks of a "colony status".
    • Should no agreement be reached on individual issues of the withdrawal and transitional agreement, the transitional phase would, however, be completely dropped and the "cliff edge" scenario - still feared by all - could occur, i.e. the immediate collapse of bilateral trade relations to WTO status on 30 March 2019.
    • Since the EU has issued the motto "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed", a short list of the major stumbling blocks on the way to an agreement is worthwhile: Northern Ireland / Ireland border, Gibraltar status, civil rights, final payment
    • The objective for the conclusion of the withdrawal and transitional agreement is the Council summit in October 2018, whereby December 2018 is already expected. Both Council summits will take place under the Austrian Presidency.

 

Framework agreement on future relations

  • Only guidelines (6 pages) are available on the EU side, which are currently being formulated in detailed negotiating positions. The EU only offers a relatively simple free trade agreement, which in particular will only cover services in a very rudimentary form.
    • The British side insisted on the complete inclusion of services, especially financial services, in the planned free trade agreement.
    • All sides expect to conclude a free trade agreement. However, the scope of the services included is completely unclear. The alternative to a free trade agreement, a much less bureaucratic customs union, is not yet off the table either, but will probably fail because of the British desire to be able to pursue an independent trade policy.

Target for the conclusion of the Framework Agreement: early 2019

Target for the conclusion of the free trade agreement: mid-2020

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