Brexit: Negotiators Agree To A 21-Month Transition Process

Alicia Cross
March 20, 2018

Former British diplomat Jonathan Powell, who worked on the negotiations that led to the return of Hong Kong to China, was also involved in the Belfast peace agreement. This would suggest that the European Union has all the power right now. Legal text agreed with backstop agreement; the intention is for a close agreement so as not to have to fall back on this. Time stamps are London time.

If they accept the document then it means the Brexit negotiations can move on to the most important, and most tricky, phase; agreeing on a long-term trade deal - but both sides now have much more breathing room to get it done, as it doesn't have to be agreed until the end of 2020.

Allie Renison, head of Europe and trade policy at the Institute of Directors, broadly welcomed the progress but added: "We are concerned that not enough attention is being given now to the finer details and practical implications of transition".

But the British Chambers of Commerce was more positive.

It's also noticeable that the pound has risen significantly against the dollar. We are not at the end of the road...but this decisive step will be presented by me on Friday. Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

So far, Britain's attempts to distract member states remain without significant results, despite frequent visits by British ministers to European capitals.

Mr Davis said an implementation period after withdrawal would give business the stability it had asked for, saying: "They now have certainty about the terms that will apply immediately after our withdrawal".

However, according to other countries, the agreements with London should remain more general in order to ensure unity and give Michel Barnier more flexibility, as the British government's position also changes. The first settles the terms of Britain's exit and the second the terms of the EU-UK relationship post-Brexit.

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The organisation also insisted there would be no further statements "until the full review is completed". When asked about that by Variety past year , Bailey said, "What you just said is bulls-".

Nevertheless it will preserve the benefits, the advantages of the single market and the customs union... and will therefore be required to respect all the European rules just like all member states do.

Under the terms of the joint legal text agreed by Barnier and Davis, the United Kingdom will be able to negotiate and ratify trade deals with outside countries following Brexit day in March 2019, to enter into force after the end of a transition period lasting until the end of 2020. Detailed talks on Northern Ireland will take place in coming weeks.

The Irish protocol now appears in yellow in the draft text, indicating that, as Barnier said, Britain had accepted all the EU's principles but wanted to discuss the operational issues.

Barnier said that he will be meeting "the Brexit steering group" of the European Parliament tomorrow. Period will be used to finalize future relationship, a period that will be "intense and demanding". He said it would be "of a limited duration".

But a crucial agreement to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland remains unresolved.

With the issue threatening to stall agreement on the transition period, a deal, however had been struck, Barnier told reporters.

Well the backstop remains in the draft withdrawal text, a revised version of which was published on Monday.

Green means the element has been agreed at negotiator level. Davis and Barnier will hold a joint press conference later today.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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