Brexit negotiations- The bumpy road to a withdrawal agreement (Friday, October 12, 2018)

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Global Economic & Market Outlook – Focus Notes (Friday, October 12, 2018)

Brexit negotiations- The bumpy road to a withdrawal agreement

Brexit negotiations- Where we currently stand

With just five and a half months before the planned Brexit date of 30 March 2019 and an agreement providing for the UK’s orderly exit from the European Union (EU) yet to be reached, EU/UK official talks on a withdrawal agreement in accordance with Article 50 of the EU Treaty, have gained pace. Not long ago, EU Brexit Commissioner Michel Barnier stated that it is “realistic” to expect a withdrawal agreement (i.e. a deal on the first phase of Brexit negotiations) by mid-November. Admittedly, out of the five priority issues necessary for a withdrawal agreement, three have already been settled: EU citizens’ rights, UK financial commitments and the 21-month status quo transition period after the UK’s exit to allow time for consumers, businesses and public bodies to adjust to changes in the rules governing their operation as a result of leaving the EU.1 However, the remaining two issues are, undoubtedly, the most controversial ones: (i) avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (member of the EU) so as to abide by the 1999 Good Friday peace agreement; and (ii) the framework of the future (i.e. post-Brexit) EU/UK relationship. In line with Article 50 of the EU Treaty which sets in motion the process for a country’s exit from the EU,2 a withdrawal agreement should be concluded “setting out the arrangements for its (the member state’s) withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”.3 ….

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