Friday

28th Jul 2017

Brexit talks restart in sense of urgency

  • Davis (l) and Barnier kicked off the meetings on Monday (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The second round of Brexit negotiations kicks off on Monday (17 July) in Brussels, focusing on the key issues of the divorce agreement.

The EU’s top negotiator, Michel Barnier, will meet with the UK’s Brexit minister, David Davis, in the morning. Detailed talks will start in the afternoon with a discussion on the objectives for the second round of talks, which will go on until Thursday.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Working groups on citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and “other separation issues”, such as the jurisdiction of the EU’s top court, will begin talks on Monday and continue work for the next four days.

Barnier’s deputy, Sabine Weyand, and the permanent secretary of the UK department for exiting the EU, Olly Robbins, will focus on the issue of Ireland on Tuesday and meet regularly throughout the week.

On Thursday, Barnier will host Davis for a working lunch, which will be followed by a press conference in the afternoon.

Barnier has warned the UK that the time is running out. "The clock is ticking," he said once again last Wednesday.

Show me the money

The single financial settlement between the UK and the EU is a major point of contention.

Barnier warned last week that if the UK does not agree to the principle of a financial settlement, it will jeopardise the talks on the future relationship with the bloc.

David Davis only acknowledged last Thursday that the UK would have to pay something, following remarks by foreign minister Boris Johnson, that the EU should “go whistle” if it expected the Brits to pay large sums, went down badly.

"The government recognises that the UK has obligations to the EU, and the EU obligations to the UK, that will survive the U.K.’s withdrawal, and that these need to be resolved,” Davis said a statement.

"We will work with the EU to determine a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing member state,” the statement added.

This was the first time the UK had acknowledged that it would need to settle its financial obligations, which it had agreed to as an EU member.

Other member states want to see the UK pay its part into the EU budget and into its other financial agreements with the bloc.

The EU has already published its position on the financial settlement, along with eight other issues.

The UK has come up with positions on the citizens’ rights, membership of Euratom (the European nuclear agreement), the role of the European Court of Justice and privileges of EU institutions and agencies.

Infighting

A year after the majority of British voters chose to leave the bloc, there is no more certainty about what Brexit is going to look like, other than it being messy.

In October, EU leaders could decide on Barnier's recommendation on whether talks have achieved “sufficient progress” in order to progress onto discussing future relations.

While the first substantive negotiations start on Monday, the two sides have a little more than 14 months to agree on the crucial issues of citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to be able to conclude the divorce agreement before the UK tumbles out of the EU on 30 March 2019.

That is a daunting task, especially that the UK government, marred by infighting, has been slow to draw up its own Brexit plan, has no clear tactic, and have lost political capital at the ballot boxes in June.

UK finance minister Philip Hammond, seen as a key supporter of a so-called “soft Brexit”, talked on Sunday (16 July) about the need for transitional agreements to be in place for some years to avoid a no deal scenario, in which the UK falls out of the EU with no agreement.

Hammond told the BBC that government ministers were becoming increasingly convinced of the need for transitional arrangements to reduce disruption, with Brexit looming.

"Five weeks ago, the idea of a transition period was quite a new concept, I think now you would find that pretty much everybody around the cabinet table accepts that there will be some kind of transition,” he said.

Hammond also warned that businesses are holding off investments in the UK because of the uncertainty created by Brexit.

Barnier unveils EU's Brexit goals

Barnier to set out EU negotiating positions on citizens' rights, divorce costs, and Ireland in Brexit talks, amid a prickly atmosphere between London and Brussels.

Barnier sets price for hard Brexit

The EU Brexit negotiator warned that a customs union between the UK and EU will not be possible if the UK doesn't want to respect single market rules, and "no deal" would send the UK back to "a distant past".

Britain and EU 'get to work' on Brexit

British and EU negotiators launched the first substantive round of negotiations on Brexit on Monday, with the UK still ambiguous about its position on the issue of financial settlement.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound

The Labour leader has put his Brexit cards on the table again but it stands to divide the party, which still has a strong pro-EU following.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. UK and EU stuck on 'philosophy' of Brexit bill
  2. Europe needs a policy for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. Spain's PM appeals to court over Catalan independence
  4. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  5. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  6. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  7. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  8. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace