Wednesday

14th Nov 2018

Brexit talks to resume next week

  • Davis will be back in Brussels next Friday (Photo: European Commission)

Brexit negotiators will resume talks next week with a month and a half left to achieve progress on key files before the EU-27 leaders meet in December to decide moving onto discussions on trade and future relations.

"Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today that the two teams would meet for Article 50 negotiations on 9 and 10 November 2017. An agenda will be published in due course," the UK and the EU said in a joint statement Tuesday evening (31 October).

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

Dates for the new round of talks emerged after Britain's top Brexit official Oliver Robbins and Barnier's deputy, Sabine Weyand met in Brussels.

Both the EU and the UK have pledged to accelerate talks.

But with only 17 months to go before the UK leaves the bloc, the slow pace of negotiations has increased the possibility for Britain leaving without a deal.

The EU proposed three new rounds, while the UK sought "continuous" talks.

"We have clearly proposed three [different dates] for new rounds. In the next few hours or days we'll be working with British delegations to find the right dates because we need to work in a very intense way to find this agreement before December," Barnier told reporters in Bratislava earlier on Tuesday.

EU-27 leaders will meet in December, when they will decide if sufficient progress has been achieved on the financial settlement, the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and citizens' rights.

If leaders give the green light, talks can then move onto negotiations about trade and future relations with the UK.

An EU official said on Tuesday the bloc is ready to accelerate talks, but there must be substance to those talks.

One of the key sticking points has been the financial settlement between the UK and the EU. The bloc wants London to spell out what existing commitments it is willing to pay.

The issue of the "divorce bill" is toxic for the UK prime minister Theresa May back home, as Brexit hardliners in her Conservative party oppose paying large sums to the EU.

Davis on Tuesday told a House of Lords committee that the final financial deal is likely to favour the EU.

"The withdrawal agreement, on balance, will probably favour the [European] Union in terms of things like money and so on. Whereas the future relationship will favour both sides and will be important to both of us," he said.

He also added that the UK wants a transition deal by early next year.

"We would like to see an implementation agreement in the first quarter of next year. That'll be the earliest we could possibly get it, in principle, because it won't be in fine detail in a couple of rounds of negotiations in January, but in principle," Davis said.

"By March next year, I am hoping we will have, intending we will have, an implementation period," he added.

Irish border issue

On the border issue, Davis admitted that it would be difficult to avoid a hard border, a key goal for the EU and Ireland, after the UK leaves the customs union.

"If we achieve an outcome, as we hope to, which maintains tariff-free trade, then maintaining an invisible border will be relatively easy," he said. "If we end up with a tariff arrangement, then we've got a real problem and dealing with that is difficult."

A zero-tariff deal alone would not be enough however to avoid a hard border. As the UK wants to leave the customs union, checks would become necessary to ensure EU standards.

The EU is awaiting proposals from the UK how to avoid the creation of such a hard border.

EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks

The EU has launched internal preparations for phase two of Brexit talks, but a December breakthrough only possible if UK gives more detail on divorce issues first.

EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks

The EU is "not confident, but hopeful" that the UK will achieve sufficient progress for 'stage 2' by December, as Britain's Brexit negotiator blames the slow pace of negotiations on the EU ahead of a crucial summit meeting.

UK pledges easy registration for EU citizens after Brexit

Ahead of Brexit negotiations later this week, the UK government insists that its planned new system for EU citizens applying for a "settled status"after Brexit will be "streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly."

EU awaits UK money offer to begin transition work

As Brexit talks continue in Brussels, the EU-27 begins discussion on how future relations may look - but will not put anything on paper unless the UK reveals how much it is willing to pay for the 'divorce' settlement.

'Sex pest' scandal claims UK senior minister

Defence minister Michael Fallon resigned over sexual harassment allegations, amid a growing scandal that could weaken the government in the middle of crucial Brexit talks.

News in Brief

  1. Draft Brexit deal on London cabinet agenda on Wednesday
  2. EU proposes no visa for UK citizens after Brexit
  3. EU parliament 'deeply concerned' on Romania judiciary
  4. Macedonia's ex-PM flees to Hungary, seeks asylum
  5. Cyprus opens first new border crossings in eight years
  6. Putin's Austrian dance partner cancels Moscow visit
  7. Political deadlock over Sweden Democrat influence
  8. Court: Catalan referendum organisers must repay costs

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army
  2. Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline
  3. EU action on Hungary and Poland drowns in procedure
  4. EU unable to fully trace €1bn spent on refugees in Turkey
  5. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  6. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  7. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  8. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  3. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  5. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  9. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  10. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us