For the record: Phase II negotiating guidelines

For the record: Phase II negotiating guidelines

Following the David Davis ‘statement of intent’ interview, the EU is clearly intent on getting the terms of the Phase I agreement tied down before moving on. In its guidelines for Phase II talks the European Council has specified that “negotiations in the second phase can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken during the first phase are respected in full and translated faithfully into legal terms
as quickly as possible.”

In its next main point the Council makes clear that during the proposed two-year transition period after March 2019, all EU rules and regulations – “the whole of the EU acquis” – will apply to the UK, including any new rules adopted during the transition.

“All existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures will also apply, including the
competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

It makes very clear that “an agreement on a future relationship can only be finalised and concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country.” Phase II will only cover discussions on “an overall understanding of the framework for the future relationship …It calls on the United Kingdom to provide further clarity on its position on the framework for the future relationship.”

According to the Financial Times, the EU is preparing an outline for the future relationship based on CETA, its recently concluded trade deal with Canada. This will be presented to the British side in the early summer if the UK is unable to clarify its demands and remains in what senior European officials called “Brexit La-La land”. It will contain no concessions on services which make up the bulk of British exports, but would have linked agreements on fisheries, aviation, security and foreign policy co-ordination.