Saturday

16th Feb 2019

EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough

  • UK prime minister Theresa May will meet EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker again on 4 December - with the EU aware of how fragile May's domestic position is (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

The UK has until end of next week to make proposals to unblock talks on the Brexit divorce agreement, as a final push is being made on both sides to reach sufficient progress for the mid-December summit that EU leaders can give the green light on starting talks on the future relationship.

UK prime minister Theresa May will meet with European Council president Donald Tusk on Friday (24 November), and then on 4 December she will meet with EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

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

By then the EU hopes to see concrete proposals from the UK on the outstanding issues with regards to citizens' rights – the role of the ECJ, and the exporting of social benefits, for example – the divorce bill, and especially on the Irish border issue.

The UK and the EU will work out a joint report on the progress made on Brexit so far, which will form the basis for EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to recommend whether or not EU leaders move onto to the next phase of the talks. This joint progress report is going to be presented to member states in early December.

Barnier and UK Brexit secretary David Davis could meet on 1 December to finalise the details, an EU source told this website.

No more formal negotiating rounds are expected, as diplomats on both sides are engaged continuously.

The EU needs the UK to clarify what it is willing to pay for in the divorce bill, as EU countries are keenly aware they will have to plug financial holes the UK leaves behind.

The bloc is not expecting a figure from the UK, and sources have said the EU side is willing to help the UK government to communicate the divorce bill in a way that does not cause an internal political shock to May's fragile leadership.

The EU-27, which has so far strongly supported Ireland's positions, will want to see a proposal from the UK on how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and how to make sure that regulations in Northern Ireland stay in line with the bloc's rules.

In an earlier document, EU diplomats have said they would start drafting the European Council summit conclusions on 6 December. That document will decide if the UK and EU can move towards talk on a transition and the future relations.

Barnier: UK must come up with Ireland solution

EU Brexit negotiator tells UK to come up with solutions to the Irish border issue and prepare to include a level playing field in its future trade deal with the EU, if it is to be ratified by member states.

UK has 10 days to make Brexit progress

British prime minister Theresa May was told to make progress on the financial settlement, and Ireland, before talks can move to the next phase.

Barnier: UK has to move on Brexit

No breakthrough emerged from the meeting between the top EU and UK negotiators on Monday evening in Brussels. Michel Barnier urged the UK to move on its red lines to help clinch a deal, with 45 days left until Brexit.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Opinion

Lost in Brexit chaos - abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Labour MP Diana Johnson has brought a private members bill to Westminster that proposes to decriminalise abortion in the whole of the UK, which means that, if successfully passed, current provisions for Northern Ireland will also be repealed.

May on whistle-stop EU tour to seek new backstop pledges

The British prime minister dramatically delayed a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal at the last minute, as she faced defeat. Theresa May will now speed-tour EU capitals to try to secure further political guarantees.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us