What it all means

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS -

The fun­da­men­tal stum­bling block has not been re­moved. The EU wants the is­sues of North­ern Ire­land, the di­vorce bill and ci­ti­zens’ rights re­solved be­fore we move to trade talks.

The UK says de­ci­sions on North­ern Ire­land and the di­vorce bill are in­te­gral to any deal on our fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship and should be dis­cussed in tan­dem.

For ex­am­ple, the sta­tus of North­ern Ire­land’s border with the Repub­lic has a di­rect bear­ing on the new cus­toms ar­range­ment between the UK and EU.

To com­pli­cate mat­ters, there is no clear opin­ion within the Cabi­net on what the fi­nal deal should look like. There are di­vi­sions on how long we stay in the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union, what we re­place them with and on what terms. Much will de­pend on next week’s sum­mit of EU lead­ers.

Michel Barnier says he is not in a po­si­tion to rec­om­mend talks move on to trade.

But he hopes “de­ci­sive progress” will be made be­fore the De­cem­ber sum­mit.

Mr Barnier re­port­edly asked EU lead­ers for per­mis­sion to move to trade talks but was re­buffed by Ger­many.

The UK and Brus­sels re­main at log­ger­heads on the is­sue of EU ci­ti­zens’ rights. Bri­tain is re­sist­ing de­mands for the 3.2 mil­lion EU na­tion­als here to re­main un­der EU law and have the right to vote.

The of­fi­cial leav­ing date for Brexit is March 31, 2019, but we need to reach a deal by Au­tumn 2018 at the lat­est.

That is be­cause any agree­ment has to be ap­proved by the re­main­ing 27 mem­ber states and the EU par­lia­ment.

Busi­nesses are also press­ing for a speedy res­o­lu­tion. Air­lines are start­ing to plan their routes for 2019 and need to know if the UK will still be cov­ered by the Euro­pean Avi­a­tion Safety Agency. Man­u­fac­tur­ers need to make longterm in­vest­ment de­ci­sions and will not do so in a cli­mate of un­cer­tainty.

Banks will start to move their HQS to the EU if there is no agree­ment on fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

The longer it takes to get a deal, the more dam­age is done to the UK econ­omy.

Not re­ally. Theresa May wants a tran­si­tion pe­riod of about two years to give us time af­ter March 2019 to adapt to the changes of Brexit. But the tran­si­tion is not an ex­ten­sion to the ne­go­ti­a­tions. This means we have to reach an agree­ment on the di­vorce bill, EU ci­ti­zens, North­ern Ire­land, mem­ber­ship of var­i­ous EU agen­cies, po­lice and se­cu­rity ar­range­ments, mar­ket ac­cess, cus­toms and fi­nan­cial and man­u­fac­tur­ing reg­u­la­tions be­fore we en­ter the tran­si­tion phase.

Eco­nomic dis­as­ter. Bri­tain would be forced into World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion rules which im­pose tar­iffs of 10% on cars and up to 40% on agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

Tax re­ceipts would fall by £45bil­lion and GDP could slump by 7.8%, ac­cord­ing to some stud­ies.

Lor­ries would be backed up on both sides of the Chan­nel as they await cus­toms checks. Air­lines would not be granted safety cer­tifi­cates to fly. EU ci­ti­zens in Bri­tain and UK ci­ti­zens in the EU would be in le­gal limbo.

The North­ern Ire­land peace process would be thrown into doubt as it would mean a hard border with the Repub­lic. this sub­ject. We con­fined our­selves to tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sions – use­ful dis­cus­sions, but tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sions.

“On this ques­tion we have reached a state of dead­lock which is very dis­turb­ing for thou­sands of project pro­mot­ers in Europe and it’s dis­turb­ing for tax­pay­ers.”

But, speak­ing dur­ing a tour of the North West, the PM hit back: “There has ac­tu­ally been good progress made in th­ese talks and Michel Barnier him­self has recog­nised that over the com­ing weeks we will be able to make con­struc­tive progress as well.” Boris John­son said it was time to “put a bit of a tiger in the tank” of Brexit talks.

The For­eign Sec­re­tary added: “Dead­lock? Let’s wait and see. We have put a good of­fer out there, let’s see how we get on in the Oc­to­ber Euro­pean Coun­cil go­ing for­ward to Christ­mas.

“I re­main very op­ti­mistic about the talks and the progress that can be made.

“As for get­ting ready for no deal, I think the Prime Min­is­ter has made it very, very clear that we are go­ing to get a deal, we are work­ing for a great deal but, ob­vi­ously, we must make the right prepa­ra­tions as and when it is nec­es­sary for a no-deal sce­nario.”

In an in­creas­ing game of brinkman­ship, Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis piled pres­sure on EU lead­ers to back talks next week on the fu­ture re­la­tion­ship.

He said the EU “must talk about the fu­ture” to give cer­tainty to the UK, Europe, busi­ness and con­sumers.

Mr Davis added: “I hope the lead­ers of the 27 will pro­vide Michel with the means to ex­plore ways for­ward with us on that and build on the spirit of co-op­er­a­tion we now have.” In Florence last

Have we got ex­tra time? What hap­pens if there is no deal?

Why is speed of the essence?

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