Expect a backlash if the £50bn offer doesn’t move the Brexit negotiations on

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 02.12.17
Publication Date 02/12/2017
Content Type

Brexit Negotiations

+ 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.
+ 19 June 2017: 1st Round
+ 17-20 July 2017: 2nd Round
+ 28-31 August 2017: 3rd Round
+ 25-28 September 2017: 4th Round
+ 9-12 October 2017: 5th Round
+ 19-20 October 2017: European Council
+ 9-10 November 2017: 6th Round

As a follow on to the European Council held in Brussels on the 19 October 2017, the heads of state and government of the Member States of the European Union met in EU27 formation (EU Member States minus the United Kingdom) on the 20 October 2017. They adopted conclusions on the state of the Brexit negotiations.

To the disappointment of the United Kingdom government, the EU27 deemed that insufficient progress had been made on the EU's three priority aims (citizens’ rights, financial settlement and Northern Ireland) to allow for the second sequence of negotiations, including trade issues, to begin .

The issue would be examined again in December 2017 at the next European Council summit. However, internal preparatory discussions as to second sequence issues would begin between the EU27 and the EU Institutions.

It was announced on the 31 October 2017 in a jointly agreed statement by Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that a further shortened sequence of Article 50 negotiations would be held on the 9 and 10 November 2017.

The short sixth round of negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Commission took place between the 9 and 10 November 2017. They were led by David Davis, head of the Department for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the European Commission's Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom.

There were three negotiating groups covering:

+ citizens’ rights
+ financial settlement
+ other separation issues (such such as Euratom, EU external agreements and dispute resolution).

The issues related to Northern Ireland and the governance of the withdrawal agreement were addressed by the Coordinators.

Little clear progress was reported by either side at the end of the negotiations. David Davis said 'this week has enabled us to consolidate the progress of earlier negotiating rounds and to draw out those areas where further political and technical discussion is required ... This is now about moving into the political discussions that will enable both of us to move forward together'.

Michel Barnier said 'Do not expect from us today, at this stage, announcements or decisions. ... The discussions over the past days – in between the two European Councils – are a moment of deepening, clarification and technical work.

He also indicated that the UK had two weeks left to make concessions if the Brexit negotiations were to advance to the next stage at the December 2017 European Council meeting. The concessions were seen to concern, in particular, the issues of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and the financial settlement.

On 20 November 2017, the media reported that a sub-committee of the UK Cabinet had reached agreement on expanding the commitments it was willing to include in the settlement. The reports suggested that the agreement amounted to increasing the UK’s potential payment from around €20 billion to €40 billion.

During the autumn of 2017 varying other figures were cited by various news sources but usually involving the UK accepting the principle of its financial liabilities. In late November 2017, The Daily Telegraph reported that the final payment figure would be 'between €45bn (£40bn) and €55bn (£49bn), depending on how each side calculated the output from an agreed methodology'.

The article said that these terms were agreed at a meeting between both sides in Brussels, although it was not yet an official agreement.

In a letter to the UK Prime Minister on the 2 December 2017 the campaign group Leave means Leave called on
Theresa May to inform European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that Britain would not make any payment to Brussels unless key conditions were met, including – the UK and the EU agreeing a reciprocal free trade deal without tariffs in principle by 30 March 2018; European Court of Justice jurisdiction over the UK ending from 30 March 2019; and the UK being able to negotiate, sign and implement trade deals with the rest of the world from 30 March 2019.

Leave Means Leave was a campaign group formed to ensure the UK made a swift, clean exit from the EU, as the country voted for on 23 June 2017.

At a press conference held early on the 8 December 2017 European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and United Kingdom Prime Theresa May announced that they had reached agreement in principle across the three areas under consideration in the first phase of negotiations for the UK to leave the EU:

+ protecting the rights of Union citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the Union
+ the framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland with its border with Ireland
+ the financial settlementAfter threatening to pay nothing to the EU, then conceding £20bn, the UK government had finally indicated in November 2017 that it would pay a Brexit ‘divorce bill’ of £40-50bn.

The initial reaction from Eurosceptics has been rather muted, wrote Iain Begg. But if the European Council did not allow exit negotiations to move to the next stage, we could expect a serious backlash – not least as the impact on public finances (including the NHS) becomes clear.

Source Link http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2017/12/02/expect-a-backlash-if-the-50bn-offer-doesnt-move-the-brexit-negotiations-on/
Related Links
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Library: Briefing Paper, No.8039 (15.12.17 and periodically updated): Brexit: the exit bill (et al) http://www.europeansources.info/record/brexit-the-exit-bill/
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union http://www.europeansources.info/record/brexit-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union/
The Guardian, 29.11.17: UK could pay £50bn Brexit divorce bill after bowing to EU pressure https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/28/uk-and-eu-agree-brexit-divorce-bill-that-could-reach-57bn
The Guardian, 20.11.17: Theresa May's cabinet agrees to pay more to break Brexit deadlock https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/20/theresa-mays-cabinet-agrees-to-pay-more-to-break-brexit-deadlock
BBC News, 03.12.17: Brexit supporters list demands for 'divorce bill' talks http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42213067
Leave Means Leave: Press Release, 03.12.17: PM urged to throw down the gauntlet to Brussels http://www.leavemeansleave.eu/pm-urged-throw-gauntlet-brussels/

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