On Friday, December 8th, the European Commission recommended to the European Council that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom. The European Council meeting on December 15th will formally decide if this is the case, allowing negotiations to proceed to the second phase. The European Commission recommendation follows the Joint Report agreed by the European Commission negotiation team led by Michel Barnier and the United Kingdom Government.
The European Commission believes sufficient progress has been made in the three priority areas of citizen’s rights, Ireland and the financial settlement as laid out in the European Council Guidelines of 29th April 2017. You can read details of the Commission’s assessment at the state of progress of the negotiations here. Related documents are also available.
You may also be interested in: the statement made by the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, following the recommendation made by the European Commission.
The European Commission has published documents and position papers on a wide variety of topics since the start of the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom as part of their approach to transparency.
As of today, (15th June 2017) data roaming charges for all travellers in the European Union have been abolished, as part of the wider project to create a Digital Single Market. The European Commission has produced a couple of useful factsheets (see links at bottom of article) on what this entails. However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.
As the BBC article also points out, once article 50 has been fully implemented, it will be the up to a future UK Government to decide as to whether the UK adopts these pricing restrictions or not.
Donald Tusk, The President of the Council of the European Union, has outlined the EU strategy for Brexit negotiations and argues for a “phased approach” enabling trade talks to start once “sufficient progress” is made on a separation settlement with the UK.
The guidelines have not been officially agreed yet but the BBC has obtained a copy of the draft guidelines which is available here. The final guidelines are due to be adopted by the European Council on 29 April.
Following a meeting of European centre-right leaders in Malta, Donald Tusk has made further comments today. See the press release here.
The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has now triggered Article 50, the formal notification that signals the beginning of the two-year period within which a withdrawal agreement will be negotiated between the UK and the European Union.
The full text of her letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is available here.
The latest version of “Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies” compiled by the House of Commons Library is available here.
Also of interest may be a report commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union entitled “The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment Of The Legal, Political And Institutional Situation In The UK” available here.
Tomorrow (Friday 31st March 2017) the Aberdeen law project will hold a seminar to discuss Brexit and how it will affect smaller organisations and charities. There will be a Q & A session with lecturer Dr. Justin Borg-Barthet.
If you would like to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people and any advance questions you wish to put to Dr Borg-Barthet.
The event will run from 4pm – 5:30pm and will be held in New Kings Room 1.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has now completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, gives the Prime Minister the power to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU. With Article 50, likely to be triggered by the end of the month, allowing negotiations to start, this report by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons looks at what would happen in the event of no deal being reached.
Some of the implications discussed in the report are:
Disputes over the cost of exiting the EU
Uncertainty for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
Trading on World Trade Organisation terms
The ‘regulatory gap’ and the limitations of the Great Repeal Bill
Uncertainty for UK participation in the EU’s common foreign and security policy
The sudden return of a ‘hard’ customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland