Brexit Talks – Update to UK Parliament on Sep 6 2017

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, made a statement to the House of Commons on 5th September 2017 regarding negotiations with the EU which took place in July and August 2017.

The main topics discussed were

  • Citizens Rights
  • Separation issues
  • Ireland/Northern Ireland
  • Financial settlement

Citizens Rights

In July we achieved a high degree of convergence on:
The scope of our proposals on residence and social security;
The eligibility criteria for those who will benefit from residence rights under the scope of the withdrawal agreement
A shared commitment to make the citizens’ rights application process as efficient and streamlined as possible.

In August we agreed:

To protect the rights of frontier workers;
To cover future social security contributions for those citizens covered by the Withdrawal Agreement
To maintain the right of British citizens in the EU27 to set up and manage a business within their Member State of residence, and visa versa and
That we should at least protect existing healthcare rights and arrangements for EU27 citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. These are the European Health Insurance or ‘EHIC’ arrangements.

While it appears that the EHIC scheme will be retained for UK citizens present in the EU and vice-versa at the time of Brexit, it is unclear, whether the current scheme will be continued for travellers from the UK to the EU and vice-versa following Brexit.

Joint technical papers have been published, following the discussions in July and August, which set out the respective positions of the UK and EU in more detail covering points of agreement, differing points of view and those requiring further discussion.

Joint technical note(s) on the comparison of EU-UK positions on citizens’ rights

Ireland/Northern Ireland

The negotiation Coordinators explored a number of issues, including both the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area….

…The key issues in relation to cross-border economic co-operation and energy will need to form an integral part of discussions on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Financial settlement

We have been clear that the UK and the EU will have financial obligations to each other that will survive our exit from the EU….

…It is clear that the two sides have very different legal stances. But as we said in the Article 50 letter, the settlement should be in accordance with law and in the spirit of the UK’s continuing partnership with the EU.

Separation issues

On separation issues, a very technical area, we have established a number of sub-groups. They made progress in a number of specific areas, and drew on papers the UK published ahead of both rounds…

…We remain committed to making as much progress as possible on those issues which are solely related to our withdrawal, but our discussions this week have exposed yet again that the UK’s approach is substantially more flexible and pragmatic than that of the EU as it avoids unnecessary disruption for British business and consumers.

I have urged the EU to be more imaginative and flexible in their approach to withdrawal on this point.

The statement also includes brief comments on the issues of Governance and dispute resolution and the Future Partnership with the EU and mentions the Policy and Papers recently issued by the government.

The full statement is available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/secretary-of-state-update-to-the-house-of-commons-on-eu-negotiations