Sunday

21st Jan 2018

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 for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressChair of EU Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism Condemns Wave of Attacks
  2. Counter BalanceA New Study Challenges the Infrastructure Mega Corridors Agenda
  3. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  4. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% Plastics Recycling Rate Attainable by 2025 New Study Shows
  5. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  6. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  7. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  8. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  10. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  12. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap