THE second stage of Brexit negotiations started on July 17 with four days of meetings between the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and David Davis – Brexit Secretary for the UK.
The result of the talks was as many expected from highly paid senior politicians – not a great deal.
On day one Davis left after less than an hour, on day two Barnier said he was ‘prepared to stall talks’ over UK’s unwillingness to present proposals.
By the end of the talks there were more questions than answers.
Barnier is concerned that they want the European Court of Justice to remain in place with control over the UK – a big no-no for Davis.
Davis is concerned UK citizens abroad will not get the same rights they have now with regards to gealthcare and mobility around the EU. The French Finance Minister is worried about the cost of exit (€100bn in his estimation) and ‘wants his money back’.
Barnier summed it up best I think. “The UK decided to leave the EU, that’s a serious decision, a serious matter, with serious consequences. We take it seriously”. So apparently this is, erm, what’s the word? Oh yes ‘serious’ business.
He then proceeded to delay the seriousness by saying: “I know one has to compromise in negotiations but we are not there yet”
What happens next is as follows:
End of August – Another round of negotiations if the UK puts forward ‘serious’ proposals and the EU is prepared to start talking compromise.
September 2017 – Angela Merkel is expected to be the frontrunner in German elections and likely to be re-elected. As all EU leaders will be in position, they can then discuss what deal they will accept, if any.
Towards the end of 2017 – The European Communities Act (1972) that wedded the UK into the EU for better or worse, will be repealed by the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. UK parliament will then be able to ‘amend, repeal & improve’ as it sees fit and the European Court of Justice will no longer have power over the UK.
Last ¼ 2017 – The main details and conditions for Brexit should be concluded by now and talks about what the future will look like can begin. Knowing the EU this may be a bit of a long-shot to have completed by the end of the year.
By the end of 2017 – Parliament will pass the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
October 2018 – Talks are expected to be completed in order to have the exit deal agreed within 18-months of Article 50 being triggered.
Towards the end of 2018 – The final Brexit agreement will be voted upon in Parliament and The Lords. This needs to be either accepted or rejected before going to the EU Parliament.
Late 2018 – European Parliament and EU Council vote on the Brexit agreement if there is one.
March 2019 – It is now two years since PM May triggered Article 50, and unless the EU states all agree to extend the deadline, it is time for the UK to close the door behind it on the way out.
An extension is unlikely particularly if you bear in mind the EU Council President – Donald Tusks’ recent comment: “We don’t know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end”.
April 2019 – Brexit, for good, bad or indifferent is done and a new era has begun, Rule Britannia!
Sandy Paterson DipFA, CeMAP, MLIBF – Regional Manager
Blacktower Financial Management (International) Ltd – Mallorca Office
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