Sunday

25th Sep 2022

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

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

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.

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.

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."

Opinion

How to apply the Nuremberg model for Russian war crimes

A Special Tribunal on Russian war crimes in Ukraine must be convened, because no permanent or existing international judicial institution is endowed with jurisdiction over Russian high-ranking officials, writes the head of the Ukraine delegation to the Council of Europe.

Opinion

Losing on the Ukrainian battlefield will not unseat Putin

Notwithstanding the remarkable Ukrainian advances, a Russian defeat would not necessarily translate into regime change in Moscow. It is likely Putin will try to spin his military setbacks as evidence of the existential threat facing Russia.

News in Brief

  1. More Russians now crossing Finnish land border
  2. Report: EU to propose €584bn energy grid upgrade plan
  3. Morocco snubs Left MEPs probing asylum-seeker deaths
  4. EU urges calm after Putin's nuclear threat
  5. Council of Europe rejects Ukraine 'at gunpoint' referendums
  6. Lithuania raises army alert level after Russia's military call-up
  7. Finland 'closely monitoring' new Russian mobilisation
  8. Flights out of Moscow sell out after Putin mobilisation order

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  3. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  5. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling

Latest News

  1. Ireland joins EU hawks on Russia, as outrage spreads
  2. Editor's weekly digest: Plea for support edition
  3. Investors in renewables face uncertainty due to EU profits cap
  4. How to apply the Nuremberg model for Russian war crimes
  5. 'No big fish left' for further EU sanctions on Russians
  6. Meloni's likely win will not necessarily strengthen Orbán
  7. France latest EU member to step up government spending in 2023
  8. Big Tech now edges out Big Energy in EU lobbying

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us