Brexit divorce bill to be settled without legal guarantees on trade deal

Lester Mason
May 25, 2018

The two sides accept the need for this "backstop" but differ on how it should work.

"If Brexit isn't delivered there will be a lack of confidence in the government, both in parliament and in the country", they said.

"Having admitted this, in order to try to appease the Brexiters and shield them from the reality of what the government has agreed she then issued a threat that the United Kingdom may not stick by its word and might seek to reopen the issue a year or two down the line".

Britain has vowed to leave the EU's single market and customs union after Brexit, which legally takes place on March 29, 2019, but the real exit date will in effect be delayed by a transition period lasting ending in December 2020.

Theresa May wants to resolve the issue through a special customs agreement for the whole of the United Kingdom that would render border checks unnecessary.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "We have been absolutely clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

The official warned substantive progress on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland by the June meeting of European Union leaders remains elusive.

The official also said that the United Kingdom will start having to take responsibility for its decision and accept that Brexit will mean a looser relationship with the EU.

The UK also wants to continue participating in the EU's criminal extradition system and the high-security parts of the Galileo satellite programme.


While the United Kingdom does not expect to continue to have a place at the Galileo table for decisions unrelated to security, the note does call for unrestricted access to the highly secure military-grade signal Public Regulated Service (PRS) at the same level as EU Member Stations.

"I have to say on the basis of this week's discussions, I am a bit concerned because the pre-condition for fruitful discussions has to be that the United Kingdom accepts the consequences of its own choices", the official added.

The EU has now ruled out United Kingdom participation in the European Arrest Warrant, saying membership was not possible for countries which did not abide by EU procedures and standards.

European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said earlier that progress needs to be made on guaranteeing a unique solution by June so that a hard border can be avoided.

The official said the cooperation on all these areas could continue but not in the same way as now and appealed to the United Kingdom government to change their negotiating stance.

"And in order to achieve this, we need to leave the customs union".

However, government sources have told the Times that they are to seek an additional transition period for customs and regulations that would effectively extend the transition period to 2023, some seven years after the vote for Brexit. As usual we've heard it all before.

Thompson said it was "quite difficult" to give an exact deadline for when a decision was needed on which option would be taken forward, although told chair Nicky Morgan: "The quicker we get a decision, the quicker we can implement what the government wants".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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