Brexit Bites, 18 December 2017

Dec 18, 2017

In another roller coaster week of Brexit developments, the UK Parliament will have a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal while the European Parliament vote in an overwhelming majority to progress onto Phase 2 of Brexit talks.  The EU Council adopted new guidelines for Phase 2 of the talks which includes parameters for any transitional period.

Phase 2 of Brexit talks

Guidelines approved by the European Council on Phase 2 of Brexit talks have been published.  According to the EU Phase 2 negotiating guidelines, Brexit transition will involve the UK continuing to follow the whole of existing and new EU law, while respecting EU budgetary commitments, related obligations and judicial oversight but without any say in EU decision-making.

In a statement dealing with the guidelines, European Council President Donald Tusk said that more clarity is needed on how the UK sees its future relationship with the European Union post Brexit.  He noted that while the European Union is ready to start preparing a “close EU-UK partnership in trade”, the European Council will have to adopt additional guidelines next year in preparation.

House of Commons to have power to veto Brexit deal

The UK Parliament voted 309 to 305 last week to have a “meaningful vote” on the final deal to leave the European Union at the end of negotiations in 2019.  This outcome constitutes a defeat for the Tory led Government which wanted power to implement the final Brexit deal without parliamentary approval. Prime Minister May had argued that anything else would threaten an “orderly and smooth” Brexit.

MEPs give green light

The European Parliament voted 556 to 62 in favour of a resolution recommending that the European Council move onto to Phase 2 of the Brexit talks.

The EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier told the European Parliament that there could be no going back on the deal reached between the UK and the EU last week and that the Joint Report as it is referred to would be translated into a legally binding agreement.

“We will never accept any backtracking on this Joint Report. This progress has now been recorded.  It will have to be quickly converted into a legally binding Withdrawal Agreement on each of our three subjects, as well as on other issues which remain to be negotiated or clarified,” he said.

Brexit shorts

  • Brexit Secretary, David Davis is reported to be making moves to persuade the European Parliament that the UK can be trusted after originally claiming last week’s deal to progress talks was just ‘statement of intent’.
  • The City of London’s business comes under threat at the next stage of Brexit negotiations according to the latest media reports.
  • A poll shows that Britons now want to stay in the EU by a margin of 10 percentage points, according to the Independent. The survey by BMG Research showed 51 percent now back remaining in the union, while 41 percent want Brexit, the biggest lead since 2016.