Saturday

3rd Dec 2022

Brexit talks to resume on Monday, a bank holiday

  • UK negotiator David Davis (l) will come to Brussels on Monday to meet his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier (r). (Photo: European Commission)

UK negotiators will return to Brussels next week on Monday (28 August) for another round of Brexit talks, a spokeswoman for the UK's Brexit ministry told EUobserver on Friday.

The starting date of next week's negotiating round was subject to debate between the UK and EU sides, because Monday is a bank holiday in the UK.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

As late as Friday 1PM, the EU could not yet say if there was a deal on whether the talks would begin on Monday or Tuesday.

“We will publish this once it is totally finalised,” a senior EU official told journalists at a briefing on Friday.

The issue of lead UK negotiator David Davis having to travel to Brussels on a bank holiday was the subject of various UK tabloid articles.

However, the senior EU official noted that if the five-day work week were to be reduced to four days, this would not present a big problem.

She said a "lack of time" is not the issue preventing the EU and UK from "advancing" in the negotiations. "So far it has been lack of substance."

“I think if you look at where we are, where we need to be, … it's a very big gap.”

The EU and UK are discussing the terms of the UK's departure from the bloc, but no big breakthroughs are expected next week. Instead August will be “the month for clarification”.

For example, the two sides need to settle the divorce bill, but the EU is still waiting for the UK to publish a counterproposal.

"We are not looking at a number now," the EU source said. "I would not like to get your hopes up that we will see a breakthrough on this issue."

"We would have preferred perhaps ... to start on getting an agreement on which parts of the financial obligations the UK is ready to accept," the official added.

"That is not on the agenda," she said, while noting that the EU is trying to "make as much progress as possible on the other items."

How to untangle the UK from its involvement in the European Investment Bank is one of those items that will be discussed.

One journalist suggested that the UK has deliberately not offered a position on the financial settlement.

“I hear what you say about delaying tactics, but I find it hard to imagine that this is really in their interest,” the official said.

“I think both the EU and UK have an interest in moving forward quickly in the negotiations.”

Northern Ireland

The situation of Northern Ireland will also be discussed, following the publication of a UK policy paper on that issue.

The EU official criticised how the paper combines the issue "of the peace process and the issue of the future EU-UK relationship".

She noted that the UK needs to accept “responsibility for the consequences that its decision to leave the EU will have ... on the island of Ireland”.

“It is very important that the peace process does not become a bargaining chip in these negotiations,” she said, adding later that she was not accusing the UK of doing that.

Brexit realities dawn in UK

Just over a year after a small majority voted for Britain to leave the EU, new realities are dawning on both the in and the out camps.

UK will have to pay beyond Brexit, EU warns

The EU's budget commissioner confirmed the bloc's position that the UK would need to keep paying for previously agreed programmes, while a new €40-billion divorce bill is making waves in the British media.

Irish PM proposes EU-UK customs union after Brexit

Leo Varadker said that a custom agreement with a transition period after the UK leaves the EU is a solution for keeping an economic open border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

UK pushes for stage two of Brexit talks

"We’re in a good position, and would like to move on to discuss our future relationship”, the UK said on Tuesday, despite Commission warnings on slow progress.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals
  2. Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data shows
  3. How Berlin and Paris sold-out the EU corporate due diligence law
  4. Turkey's EU-funded detention centres ripe with abuse: NGO
  5. In green subsidy race, EU should not imitate US
  6. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  7. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  8. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us