Withdrawal Agreement Spectator

Around the same time that Lord Keen resigned, the Prime Minister appeared before the House of Commons Liaison Committee. During that appearance, in response to a question from MP Hilary Benn, the prime minister said he believed the EU was not negotiating “in good faith” with the UK – even though Brandon Lewis, the northern Ireland minister, had told another committee this morning that this was the case. The obligation for the UK and the EU to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement on their future relationship is enshrined in Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement, and such a remark should reduce the already deepest level of trust and goodwill in Brussels towards Westminster to something close to zero. The backstop has proven to be the main reason for the Brexit impasse. It was a guarantee that there would be no “hard border” between Northern Ireland and Ireland. It was an insurance policy that kept Britain in the EU`s customs union with Northern Ireland under EU single market rules. The backstop, which was supposed to be temporary and replaced by a subsequent agreement, could only be lifted if Britain and the EU gave their consent. Eurosceptic MEPs wanted it to add legally binding changes, fearing it would jeopardise the country`s autonomy and last indefinitely. EU leaders have so far refused to remove them and have also ruled out a time limit or given Britain the power to remove them. On 11 March 2019, the two sides signed a pact in Strasbourg that did not amend the Withdrawal Agreement, but added “significant legal safeguards”. This was not enough to convince Brexit hardliners. If the UK leaves the EU without having ratified a withdrawal agreement, this will obviously have serious implications for the EU and the UK. The European Commission`s preparations to mitigate the effects of a disorderly Brexit or a no-deal Brexit began in December 2017 and on 25 March 2019 the Commission announced that its no-deal programme to prepare for Brexit had been completed.

The Commission issued 93 “notices on appeal” and 46 legislative measures were proposed or adopted – e.B. Legislation amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 on the basis of UK reciprocity will allow visa-free travel to EU27 countries (this also applies to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, which are part of the Schengen area). Although rather overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak, the negotiation phase of the future relationship between the UK and the EU began last week. The mandate for the negotiations agreed by the parties provided for the simultaneous negotiation of 11 distinct components* of the future relationship – the simultaneous nature of the negotiations that recognizes the ticking imposed on the parties by the requirement (set out in the Political Declaration) for the parties to “meet at a high level in June 2020” to “take stock of the progress made”. In a report released last Thursday, the European Union`s House of Lords Committee noted that this shortened timetable, which, along with the extent to which the positions of both sides have hardened since the signing of the Political Declaration last October, reduces the chances of a full signature by the parties. The government has published an updated list of trade and mutual recognition agreements that the UK has signed with third countries so that trade can continue with (hopefully) minimal disruption after the UK leaves the EU. It also published a report entitled “Uk trade with trade agreement continuity (TAC) countries – the statistics”, which indicates that agreements have now been signed with countries to which 53% of the UK`s trade with TAC countries is dissociated. .