Friday, 8 December 2017

"Sufficient progress" achieved with EU

Breakfast in Brussels
Updated 9th December - reaction in the media

It was announced this morning that the European Commission is of the opinion that "sufficient progress" has been over Citizens' rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement to permit talks to move forward.

See the European Commission Press Release

For the detail - Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU

The Commission's Press Release states:


"The Commission is satisfied that sufficient progress has been achieved in each of the three priority areas of citizens' rights, the dialogue on Ireland / Northern Ireland, and the financial settlement, as set out in the European Council Guidelines of 29 April 2017. The Commission's negotiator has ensured that the life choices made by EU citizens living in the United Kingdom will be protected. The rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom citizens in the EU27 will remain the same after the United Kingdom has left the EU. The Commission has also made sure that any administrative procedures will be cheap and simple for EU citizens in the United Kingdom.

As regards the financial settlement, the United Kingdom has agreed that commitments taken by the EU28 will be honoured by the EU28, including the United Kingdom.

With regard to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom acknowledges the unique situation on the island of Ireland and has made significant commitments to avoid a hard border.

Full details of the Commission's assessment are available in the Commission's Communication on the State of Progress of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom."

Links:

See the European Commission Press Release

For the detail - Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU

A more detailed look at the Joint Report to follow.  Important to recognise that this is a report and not a final agreement.  The first 5 paragraphs state:

1. This report, presented jointly by the negotiators of the European Union (Union) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), records the progress made in the first phase of negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) on the UK's orderly withdrawal from the Union.

2.  Both Parties have reached agreement in principle across the following three areas under consideration in the first phase of negotiations, on which further detail is set out in this report: (a) protecting the rights of Union citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the Union; (b) the framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland; and (c) the financial settlement.

3.  Progress was also made in achieving agreement on aspects of other separation issues.

4.  The positions detailed in this report form a single and coherent package. Agreement in principle has been reached on the package as a whole, as opposed to individual elements.

5.  Under that caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitmment in principle has been reached on the package, the joint commitments set out below in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail. This does not prejudge any adaptations that might be appropriate in case transitional arrangements were to be agreed in the second phase of the negotiations, and is without prejudice to discussions on the framework of the future relationship."
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Update 9th December - some of the reaction:

Irish Times - Ireland has just save the UK from the madness of a hard Brexit

The Guardian 9th December - Michael Gove: Voters can change EU deal if they don't like it




The Independent 8th December - Two calls to the DUP and a flurry of tweets for Tory Brexiteers: The Story behind Theresa May's late-night scramble to seal Brexit deal



Telegraph 8th December - This Brexit deal is no 'breakthrough'. It is a complete capitulation


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