Wednesday

16th Jan 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.

News in Brief

  1. May's Brexit deal defeated by 230 votes
  2. German economy hit by global economic turbulence
  3. MEPs narrowly call for end to 'tampon tax'
  4. MEPs back spending €6bn on fusion energy research
  5. MEPs call for 'awareness campaign' on autonomous car benefits
  6. German glyphosate report 'copy-pasted' from industry
  7. Commission set to reveal controversial common tax plan
  8. Merkel plans major EU-China summit for 2020

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. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. UK parliament rejects May's Brexit deal in historic defeat
  2. EU suggests majority vote on digital tax by 2025
  3. MEPs redouble appeal on sexual harassment
  4. Trump's wall vs Europe's sea
  5. Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret
  6. Germany scorns 'unusual' US threat on Russia pipeline
  7. UK parliament vote expected to prompt Brexit delay
  8. Pro-EU MEPs still see room for stopping Brexit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us