Negotiations on the Brexit: the EU and London in the “heart of the matter”

  • AFP

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 08:19

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 08:19

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    The EU and the Uk are entered on Monday in the heart of the matter by initiating the second round of negotiations in Brussels to determine the terms of their divorce, whereas London gets difficult in order of battle.

    After a vigorous handshake exchanged on a Monday morning with his british counterpart, David Davis, the chief negotiator of the EU Michel Barnier has announced the colour: the two sides, finally, “dive into the heart of the matter”.

    The session of negotiations must last for four days, during which different working groups will focus on the priorities: citizens ‘ rights and balance of accounts, but also the irish situation, and some topics in the appendices. According to Mr Barnier, the objective is “to examine and compare our respective positions to progress”.

    “It is time to get to work and to ensure that these negotiations will be successful”, said Mr. Davis, who wants to identify the differences in order to occupy and to identify similarities to strengthen them”.

    Tensions in London

    The work is now in the hands of technicians: David Davis has quickly left Brussels in the late morning to return to London, where the wait for ” parliamentary questions “, according to an official british.

    He should be back on Thursday to present a balance sheet of the week during a press conference in the company of Michel Barnier.

    The Europeans, who have finalised their preparations for the negotiations in may, show more eager to see the british positions.

    London published Thursday, the documents stating her “opinion” on several key topics — but still not to the crucial question of the financial regulation.

    It must be said that the british camp manoeuvre in a difficult political context. According to media reports, an internal struggle is tearing the government to position itself in view of a possible succession to the first minister Theresa May, weakened by the loss of the absolute majority of conservatives in Parliament during the recent elections.

    “The firm must be able to hold discussions within the policy of the government in private,” observed Monday, a spokesman for Downing Street, adding that Ms. May remind itself of its ministers.

    Interviewed Sunday on this subject by the BBC, the Finance minister Philip Hammond has suggested to his colleagues, to “focus on work”.

    Last week, it is the eurosceptic Boris Johnson, who had remarked. The british minister of foreign Affairs had wiped the Europeans from London, ensuring that they could “always run” so that his country will pay the invoice of the Brexit, estimated at up to € 100 billion by some european leaders.

    A figure deemed “silly” and “fanciful” Sunday by Philip Hammond, but that has nevertheless asserted that the Uk was ” not a country that shuns its debts “.

    “Settle up the accounts (…) this is not easy, it’s expensive in any separation,” was recognized Michel Barnier last week.

    But he was again promised that it would “not a euro, not a “pound” (one pound sterling, editor’s note)” in the United Kingdom that the commitments taken as a member of the EU.

    Time is of the essence

    The French, however, had warned the British. “The clock is ticking,” he retorted, if London and Brussels want to find as expected a withdrawal agreement by march 2019 after 40 years of tumultuous marriage.

    It remains only 15 months to complete the negotiations by October 2018, to allow time for the ratification of the final agreement by all parties concerned.

    The British were released last week several documents explaining their bargaining position, after an initial opinion on the fate of the expatriates, whose rights in the future (home, work, social security) have become uncertain in the prospect of divorce.

    In these “papers”, the British insist on the need to agree on a transitional period, and to start as soon as possible to discuss the status of the future relationship between the two parties. A conversation that 27 have, however, already subject to “significant progress” on key topics.

    Both parties must also start to focus on points, ” miscellaneous “, such as membership in Euratom, the european community of atomic energy, the authority of the Court of justice of the EU (CJEU) or the status of the property placed on the single market after the date of Brexit (for example, a car manufactured and placed on the market before the Brexit, but sold after).

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