Saturday, 3 October 2020

UK - EU Negotiations on the Future Relationship ~ Round 9


Round 9 of the UK-EU Future Relationship negotiations ended on 2 October with statements by the Chief Negotiators:

Lord Frost - Statement 2 October 2020

Michel Barnier - Statement 2 October 2020

Prime Minister and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will speak in a video call later  - BBC News 3 October 2020

It remains to be seen whether agreement can be reached. Only 89 days now remain to the end of the transition period which, let it be remembered, could have been extended had the UK government so requested.

The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill passed the House of Commons and received first reading in the House of Lords on 30 September. The Bill continues

to contain provisions (Clauses 44, 45 and 47) which could result in the UK being in breach of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Withdrawal Agreement. Even presenting the Bill in this form to Parliament may be a breach of the good faith required by Article 5 of the Protocol - see previous post for discussion and this article by Catherine Barnard (Professor of EU law - Cambridge).

The EU Commission has initiated the first step of Infringement Proceedings (Article 258 TEU) against the UK - see Statement by EU Commission President. At this stage it does not follow that the matter will go to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The UK is asked to set out its position after which the EU Commission issues a "reasoned opinion."  The UK would then have time to comply with the opinion. If the UK did not comply within the time period laid down by the Commission, then the Commission may being the matter before the CJEU.

Links:

Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration

House of Commons Library Research Briefing - UK-EU withdrawal agreement: dispute settlement and EU powers

House of Commons Library - Internal Market Bill - Reactions from Scottish and Welsh governments

03 October 2020

Update 4 October 2020:

The Guardian 3 October - Johnson and Von der Leyen extend Brexit talks by a month - Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have approved a further month of Brexit negotiations after agreeing that enough progress has been made to justify a last push to reach a deal on trade and security. 


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