Helpful comparison table from IIEA.

Helpful comparison table from IIEA.

Now that the dust has settled after the two opening statements from the UK and the EU Andrew Gilmore’s blog on the Institute for International and European Affairs website has published a  helpful side by side comparison of the broad negotiating positions of both parties.  It makes the point that while there is significant common ground in these two positions, in particular on the Irish issues, the differences are also significant and, he says belie, the complexity of the upcoming talks.  He adds each ‘basket’, as he describes it, contain dozens or hundreds of sub-issues, and little time to solve them all.

It also references the issues of UK liabilities, sequencing of negotiations and transitional arrangements.  Also a ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ approach is part of the draft guidelines and Gilmore makes the point that of course Irish concerns can only be addressed in that context.