25 Jan 2018

Exclusive: EU’s negotiating guidelines for the Brexit transition

The transition on offer is every bit as annoying to Jacob Rees-Mogg and fellow Brexiteers as he was signalling at the Brexit Select Committee yesterday. There is only a limited right for Britain to even make an appearance at meetings where the U.K. will have no voting rights.

The U.K. nonetheless has to follow all EU laws including any new ones that might pop up (the government says the EU law-making process is so slow there won’t be any surprises on that front – Mr Rees-Mogg begs to differ).

The document also makes clear that the U.K. has to abide by existing EU agreements with third countries, which covers many areas but not least among them are the 50 or so trade agreements that have been signed by third countries with the EU.

The U.K. has said it would like to continue the current arrangements which countries like South Korea and Canada have with the EU28 when the EU is only 27. The reply comes back from some of those countries: I’m sure you would, but we might have other ideas. South Africa has been the most outspoken but others (often those with agricultural interests) are thought to be sniffing around the idea of not simply signing a rollover agreement on the dotted line.

One EU official says the U.K. does not appear to have approached the EU for help on this even though it would be happy to facilitate dialogue. The same official said the U.K. could easily find that quite a few countries are happy for the U.K. to continue all the obligations that EU trade treaties impose but are keen to reopen the benefits.

The EU official said he could easily imagine third countries pressurising the U.K. for future commitments to be written into future U.K. bilateral trade agreements as the price for a temporary rollover.

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8 reader comments

  1. Patrick Tyson-Cain says:

    Thanks, Gary.
    Assuming a Withdrawl Agreement actually happens (and is scheduled to take effect on 29/3/19), does anyone have an idea of what sort of limbo we might find ourselves in if a Member State or one of the Institutions specifically entitled to under Article 218 asks the CJEU for an Opinion on the agreement some time in the first three months of 2019?

  2. Tim says:

    I don’t understand why the UK government would expect any trading relationship that we enjoy in virtue of being an EU member to continue when we’re not an EU member.

    Those agreements involved countries granting EU members access to their market in exchange for them gaining access to the EU market, subject to certain conditions.

    Whether granting the UK access to their market in exchange for access to the UK market is in any country’s interest will involve a completely different calculation.

    For example, they may previously have allowed the UK to sell widgets in their market only because they wanted to sell thingamajigs to Germany.

    So surely every trading relationship will need to be reconsidered, and new conditions agreed to balance out the new costs and benefits to each party of an agreement, which I fear may prove to be beyond Liam Fox’s abilities.

  3. Daren Gregory says:

    Just leave the EU gravy train it’s a dictatorship on the brink.we all know what happens too empires.the other country’s need to realise this as well.

  4. A Mc Grath says:

    Britain might use the term “ negotiating” – it’s not : remember Cameron DID the negotiating , the result was rejected & Art 50 served. All EU doing is applying terms to a leaver ( as suit US . Please be precise .

  5. Alex` says:

    Where is the actual document? This is more useless hearsay.

  6. Laurence Wilkinson says:

    Firstly if we are continuing to pay full membership. Then we are entitled to full membership rights. I,e. to attend all meetings until our membership ends. and. Assuming any benefits.
    Having said that. The EUs attitude in these negotiations is making it hard for us “Not” to walk away without a deal.

  7. Derrick McGuire says:

    On the ballot paper it said leave or remain. Nothing about still having to be under EU rules. Leave means and meant leave. If you can’t get this through your heads then please step down and put someone in power who can.

  8. Damaris Micklem says:

    I think the whole Brexit issue is one of the craziest things I have ever witnessed my country embarking on, in all my 75 years of life.

Comments are closed.