Monday

26th Feb 2024

EU awaits UK money offer to begin transition work

  • Chief negotiators Michel Barnier (l) and David Davis (r) after the last round of Brexit talks (Photo: European Commission)

EU countries will not begin drafting guidelines for talks on a possible Brexit transition and future relations unless the UK details what it is willing to pay as part of the divorce.

During a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday (8 November) France and Germany argued that drafting documents should only begin after the UK moved first.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

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

... or subscribe as a group

Other member states questioned if working out the texts should be left to the last minute before the EU summit in December, when the UK would like to see EU-27 leaders approve the move onto talks on the next phase and transition.

There was agreement that there should be no automatic move to talking about transition and the future relations with the UK, and that there should be no "cherry-picking" during the transition period.

"There will be no guidelines, if there is no sufficient progress," an EU source said, referring to the threshold the UK needs to meet on the three key negotiating issues.

According to a document prepared for the ambassadors' meeting, the EU-27 will take stock of the progress in Brexit talks on 20 November, and on 29 November it could begin drafting the guidelines.

EU countries for now will start a general discussion on how a transition period and the future relationship might look like.

The EU-27 want the UK to clarify what it is willing to pay from the financial commitments it has made as an EU member.

The UK wanted to see what the future relationship might entail before making an offer on the divorce bill.

A new negotiating round begins in Brussels on Thursday (9 November) with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warning in a tweet: "More progress needed on 3 key topics."

Citizens' rights, the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the financial settlement have been at the heart of the first phase of talks.

"We welcome the EU's move to start their own preparatory work on how they see the future relationship working; that will allow us to accelerate talks once they are ready to participate in this conversation," the UK's Brexit secretary David Davis said in Warsaw on Wednesday.

"We are approaching the discussions in a spirit of goodwill and at the December European Council we hope to rely on the support of our friends in Poland in progressing discussions to the next stage," he added.

Even if talks on a transition and the future relationship would be given a green light in December, detailed trade talks would not be included in the second phase of negotiations.

A trade deal between the EU and the UK would require a separate discussion once the withdrawal accord is agreed.

Meanwhile the European Parliament's Brexit team said the UK's proposal on how it wants to register EU citizens after Brexit does not go far enough.

The MEPs argued the process should be cost-free, automatic, enable families to make one declaration, and that UK authorities should bear the burden of proof to challenge such a declaration.

The EP's approval is necessary for the final divorce agreement.

Brexit talks to resume next week

UK and EU officials will get together next Thursday to try to achieve "sufficient progress" by December on key issues for unlocking the next phase of negotiations.

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.

Barnier to UK: will you keep EU rules?

As Brexit talks get under way again in Brussels, the EU's chief negotiator gave a glimpse into what the UK could expect from trade talks: no special treatment and limited regulatory divergence.

Feature

Only Palestinians paying thousands of dollars leave Gaza

Despite the high risk of dying from war, starvation or disease, Gazans are still not allowed to enter Egypt. Except those who bribe the authorities. And the EU mission EUBAM Rafah cannot be deployed due to security reasons.

Latest News

  1. More farmers, Ukraine aid, Yulia Navalnaya in focus This WEEK
  2. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  3. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  4. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  5. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  6. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  7. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  8. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  2. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries
  3. European Citizen's InitiativeThe European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary school students in the EU.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region is stepping up its efforts to reduce food waste
  5. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  6. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us