|Author (Corporate)||United Kingdom: Department for Exiting the European Union|
|Series Title||Press Release|
A further series of EU-UK Article 50 Negotiations took place between officials in Brussels on the 24-26 July 2018. Key topics on the agenda were:
The meeting was at the level of officials on 24-26 July 2018, and of Principals on the 26 July 2018, including the second meeting in Brussels between Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab, who replaced David Davis on the 9 July 2018 after the latter's resignation as part of the turmoil within the governing Conservative Party in the UK after the Cabinet away day at Chequers on the 6 July 2018, which collectively agreed the UK’s detailed vision for a new EU-UK relationship after Britain's departure after March 2019, which was published in a White Paper The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the 12 July 2018.
On the 19 July 2018 the European Commission issued a Communication Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019 aimed at the other EU Member States (EU27) instructing them to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, and alerting them of the consequences for European businesses and citizens.
However, in comments made after a General Affairs Council (Article 50) in Brussels on the 20 July 2018 Michel Barnier warned that many issues remained to be clarified.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May had also said on the 18 July 2018 that the UK Government was 'preparing for all contingencies' and that it would publish 'around 70' technical notices to 'lay out the consequences [of a no deal Brexit]' for businesses and the public.
It was also announced on the 24 July 2018 that Theresa May would lead on negotiations with the EU going forwards with the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Dominic Raab, acting as her Deputy.
The statement said: 'It is essential that in navigating the UK's exit from the European Union, the Government is organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.
DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the Future Framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both departments.
I [Theresa May] will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that'.
Following the meeting between Michel Barnier and Dominic Raab on the 26 July 2018 a joint press conference was held in which Mr Barnier indicated that the EU rejected key elements of the customs arrangement proposals as proposed in the UK in the Chequers Agreement and the subsequent White Paper.
Mr Barnier said: 'Maintaining control of our money, law, and borders ... applies to the EU's customs policy. ... The EU cannot – and will not – delegate the application of its customs policy and rules, VAT and excise duty collection to a non-member, who would not be subject to the EU's governance structures'.
Mr Raab said 'We believe this proposal represents a practical way forward. And it is an answer that respects the integrity of the EU, and the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom'.
More positively, Michael Barnier said that the the UK proposals on security marked a real step forward, adding that 'safeguards' offered by the UK allowed for stronger cooperation on internal security and data sharing.
The next set of formal meetings between the two sides woud take place in mid-August 2018.
+ 29 March 2017: The UK triggered Article 50, the process for the start of the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
For a further round-up of EU-UK Brexit negotiations March-June 2018 click here.
|Countries / Regions||Europe, United Kingdom|