Thursday

23rd May 2019

UK slams EU's 'bad faith' on Brexit transition

  • Davis (l) complained the EU position paper 'was hardly a legal document, it was a political document' (Photo: European Commission)

The UK Brexit minister slammed the EU on Thursday (8 February) as "discourteous" and having "bad faith" after the publication of some of its positions on the transition period that will follow the UK's exit from the EU in 2019-2020.

"I do not think it was in good faith to publish a document with frankly discourteous language," Brexit secretary David Davis told reporters in London.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group



He said that the text implied that the EU could "arbitrarily terminate" the transition, which the UK government calls an "implementation period".

"We think it was unwise to publish that," he added.

The document published by the European Commission on Wednesday lays out the EU executive proposals on the UK's rights and obligation during the period - which will start when the withdrawal agreement enter into force in March 2019, and will finish on 31 December 2020.

During that time, the UK will not be an EU member anymore, and will therefore not be represented in EU institutions, but it will still have to abide to EU laws and stay under the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice.



In a footnote, the commission also says that the withdrawal agreement "should provide for a mechanism allowing the Union to suspend certain benefits deriving for the United Kingdom from participation in the internal market where it considers that referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union would not bring in appropriate time the necessary remedies."

"I have to say I thought that document was hardly a legal document, it was a political document," Davis said on Thursday.

Davis made his comments after the UK government to try to define its position on the post-Brexit UK-EU relationship, and as negotiations were under way in Brussels over the UK exit - including the issue of the Irish border - and the transition.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will give a press conference on Friday over the result of the round of talks.

Northern Ireland to remain in Single Market?

According to the Guardian, the EU has told the UK that Northern Ireland would remain in the EU single market after Brexit and after the transition period to avoid a 'hard border' with the Republic of Ireland.

Under the withdrawal agreement, Northern Ireland would leave the single market only if provisions of a future trade or technical solutions provide guarantees that there will be no 'hard border'.

Meanwhile, prime minister Theresa May has still not announced the government's position for the future relationship.

May has been trying to reconcile views in her cabinet between Brexit hardliners and minister who are more concerned about the long-term impact of Brexit.

Davis said that the atmosphere of the two-day meeting in the prime minister's official countryside residence in Chequers was "very constructive" but that "there's still progress to be made, there are still things incomplete."

Analysis

The next hurdles in Brexit talks

As EU-27 came up with its positions for the transition period, and there are plenty of political landmines left for the talks. Here is a look at what could upset the Brexit negotiations.

UK seeks flexible transition length after Brexit

Britain wants to negotiate with Brussels the end date of the Brexit transition period - without saying what their preferred end date would be. The UK's position paper disagrees with the EU on other key points too.

Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election

Polling booths have opened in the UK for EU elections, with voters not knowing if Brexit will happen, if they have a prime minister, or caring that much who their MEPs will be.

News in Brief

  1. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  2. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal
  3. UK sacked defence secretary backs Johnson for leader
  4. Dutch voter turnout so far slightly down on 2014
  5. Report: Hungary's Fidesz 'bought' Belgian official
  6. Poll: Denmark set to double number of liberal MEPs
  7. European brands 'breaking' chemical safety rules
  8. Report: Merkel was lobbied to accept EU top job

Feature

'Swexit' off menu at election for first time in 24 years

The Swedish Left Party have abandoned euroscepticism to campaign on climate change - whilst the hard-right Sweden Democrats spy possibilities of a link up with Matteo Salvini of Italy and France's Marine Le Pen.

Opinion

Brexit vs Grexit: The six stages of losing to the EU

Theresa May's venture seems very similar to the attempt by Alexis Tsipras in 2015 to persuade Brussels to accept his terms for the bail out - a huge negotiation failure, presented to the public as the best possible deal.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election
  2. Dutch PM puts EU exit on agenda with election gamble
  3. EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal
  4. EU should stop an insane US-Iran war
  5. EU faces moment of truth at midnight on Sunday
  6. Dutch MPs: EU sanctions should bear Magnitsky name
  7. Far-right hate speech flooded Facebook ahead of EU vote
  8. Key details on how Europeans will vote

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us