EU Commission publishes draft recommendations for second phase of negotiations

Posted in UK and EU legal framework

Following confirmation from the European Council that Brexit negotiations can move to the second phase (to include discussions as to the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU), the European Commission has published its recommendations for the conduct of those negotiations. The recommendations supplement those published by the Commission in May 2017.

The new guidance contains, in particular, the Commission’s proposals for any transitional arrangements agreed between the UK and the EU. Of note, the Commission states that:

  • any transitional arrangements should cover the whole of the EU acquis, including Euratom matters. Further, the acquis, including any changes to it, should continue to apply to the UK throughout any transition;
  • the UK should not be able to cherry pick benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union during any transitional period and all for freedoms should continue during such time;
  • all regulatory, judicial and enforcement structures should continue to apply to the UK during any transition, including the jurisdiction of the CJEU over the UK; 
  • on the other hand, the UK would become a third country as of 30 March 2019 and so despite having to abide by all EU rules, it would no longer be represented in EU institutions, agencies, office and bodies.

Finally, the Commission is of the view that any transition should not last beyond the end of 2020. Such period is even shorter than the two years suggested by the UK Government.  It may be that the Commission is confident that a new trade deal could be negotiated in that time, but as noted previously, that could prove to be a challenging timescale.

Brexit: planning for the future as negotiations continue

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