After Brexit

Funding from EU programmes guaranteed until the end of 2020

Funding from EU programmes guaranteed until the end of 2020

Businesses, universities and local organisations were assured today (24 July 2018) that any funding they secure through EU programmes, from now until the end of 2020, will be guaranteed by the UK government even in a no deal scenario.

The implementation period agreed in March would see the UK continue to participate in all EU programmes until the end of 2020 – providing certainty for British organisations and their European counterparts.

The guarantee announced today (24 July 2018) will reflect this by underwriting the UK’s full allocation for structural and investment fund projects, such as funding secured through the European Regional Development Fund, until the end of 2020.

In addition, the Treasury will also guarantee funding for UK organisations which successfully bid directly to the European Commission – through projects like Horizon 2020 – until the end of this EU budget period if no deal is agreed.

This will give potential applicants continued confidence to bid for funding whatever the outcome of the negotiations, and ensure that UK organisations continue to benefit from funding post-Exit.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:

We continue to make positive steps towards getting the best possible deal with the EU – one that works for the whole of the UK. The guarantee we are making today however means that, even in the unlikely event of a no-deal, our businesses, universities and local authorities can be confident that they will continue to receive the funding they successfully bid for from any EU programme.

In 2016 the government committed to protect projects that were successful in securing EU funding before exit day. This new guarantee means that successful bids for EU funding until the end of 2020 will receive their full financial allocation and will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime.

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Draft Text For Discussion: Implementation Period

A document Draft Text For Discussion: Implementation Period has been published (21 February 2018) that sets out the UK’s approach to the legal text of the implementation period to be provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement.

In order to aid swift and effective negotiation it sets out a number of proposed amendments to the European Commission’s position paper of 7 February 2018, “Transitional arrangements in the withdrawal agreement”.

It is intended to support further discussions between the parties on detailed arrangements for the implementation period (‘the Period’), with the aim of reaching agreement at March European Council

Brexit Negotiations

Speech by Michel Barnier – 9 February 2018

The following statement was made by Michel Barnier after a round of negotiations held in Brussels from 6th to the 9th February 2018.

Brussels, 9 February 2018

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to be here. I would like to thank you for being here rather than in front of your television watching the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games, which has just started in Pyeongchang.

Allow me to extend my personal best wishes to both the Korean hosts and the athletes.

To come back to Brexit, we agreed with the UK side this week that the agenda would cover Ireland, the governance of the withdrawal agreement, and the transition.

We also foresaw an “update” by the UK on the future relationship. This update did not take place this morning because of agenda constraints on the UK side. That was the only meeting to have been cancelled.

Before the beginning of this round, I was very happy to meet David Davis on Monday in London, on his invitation, for a political discussion and also to meet Prime Minister Theresa May.

On the points I will now mention, this round was, for us, a “relaunch” round – the first since the Joint Report in December.

I think it is useful, however – for your work and your information – to give you an update today on the negotiations.

These meetings between us, and with David Davis whenever he wishes, will continue to take place regularly.

This negotiation is organised in rounds. This organisation is important to us – the EU side – because it gives us the time, before and after every round, to consult the 27 Member States and the European Parliament.

This is also how we ensure transparency – to which we have committed since the beginning, particularly when it comes to you.

And this method is also how we managed to reach an agreement with the British in December on the first important step of this negotiation.

EU Negotiations Position Paper

Transitional Arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement

Another position paper issued by the EU on Transitional Arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement to the EU27. This paper translates into legal terms the principles laid down in the European Council Guidelines of 29 April and 15 December 2017 and in the supplementary negotiating directives annexed the Council Decision of 29 January 2018.

This has been created for approval by the EU27 before it’s presented to the UK. It remans unclear whether this document is to be used as the basis for discussion with the UK or whether, as shown on past experience, it will be presented as a fait accompli

On this basis, this paper outlines in legal terms how such arrangements should be given effect in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Position paper “Transitional Arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement”

The topics mentioned include:

  • There shall be a transition period, which shall start on the date of entry into force of this Agreement and end on 31 December 2020.
  • Unless otherwise provided in this Part, Union law shall be binding upon and applicable in the United Kingdom during the transition period
  • The United Kingdom shall not participate in any enhanced cooperation
  • During the transition period, the United Kingdom may not become bound by international agreements entered into in its own capacity in the areas of exclusive competence of the Union, unless authorised to do so by the Union
  • During the transition period, the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union shall have the powers conferred upon them by Union law also in relation to the United Kingdom and natural and legal persons residing or established in the United Kingdom. In particular, the Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction as provided for in the Treaties.
  • etc.

Full details are available in the full document at (pdf)

It is not clear whether the UK can accept not being allowed to sign any International Trade Agreements during this period.

Also, it is worth noting a footnote to the paragraph relating to the role of the European Court of Justice which states:

In addition, the Governance and Dispute Settlement Part of the Withdrawal Agreement should provide for a mechanism allowing the Union to suspend certain benefits deriving for the United Kingdom from participation in the internal market where it considers that referring the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union would not bring in appropriate time the necessary remedies.

which effectively allows the EU to become Judge, Jury and executioner to matters which they themselves decide break terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Brexit Negotiations

Press statement by Michel Barnier 29 January 2018

Press statement by Michel Barnier following the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on the adoption of negotiating directives on transitional arrangements.

(Frenglish provided courtesy of Google Translate)

Merci, chère Ekaterina Zaharieva, pour le très bon début de la Présidence bulgare. Je me permettrais aussi de dire un mot de remerciement pour toute l’équipe de la Présidence estonienne qui vient de se terminer.

Thank you, dear Ekaterina Zaharieva, for the very good start of the Bulgarian Presidency. I would also like to say a word of thanks to all the team of the Estonian Presidency that has just ended.

Je suis heureux de vous retrouver après cette réunion du Conseil, qui doit nous permettre de débuter la deuxième phase de cette négociation complexe et extraordinaire.

I am pleased to meet you after this Council meeting, which will allow us to begin the second phase of this complex and extraordinary negotiation.

Le 15 décembre dernier, sur la base du rapport conjoint, que le Président Juncker, la Première ministre Theresa May, David Davis et moi-même avons acté, le Conseil européen avait jugé le niveau de progrès suffisant dans la négociation. Et il avait invité la Commission à présenter une recommandation pour une période de transition limitée dans le temps et couvrant tout l’acquis.

On 15 December, on the basis of the joint report, which President Juncker, Prime Minister Theresa May, David Davis and I have taken, the European Council found the level of progress sufficient in the negotiations. And he had invited the Commission to make a recommendation for a transitional period of time and covering the whole acquis.

Un mois après cette recommandation, le Conseil a adopté très rapidement aujourd’hui des directives claires de négociation. J’y vois un nouveau signe de cette unité forte, sincère des 27 dans cette négociation. Et cette unité vaut pour les trois institutions, le Conseil, le Parlement européen et la Commission.

One month after this recommendation, the Council has adopted very clear negotiating directives very quickly today. I see a new sign of this strong, sincere unity of the 27 in this negotiation. And this unity applies to the three institutions, the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission.

Et je voudrais remercier Ekaterina Zaharieva et la Présidence bulgare d’avoir apporté leur première pierre à cette unité au début de cette année 2018.

And I would like to thank Ekaterina Zaharieva and the Bulgarian Presidency for bringing their first stone to this unit early this year 2018.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to say a few words on these new negotiation directives:

The EU position is very clear: the transition will last for 21 months, until 31 December 2020.

During this limited period of time, the whole EU acquis will continue to apply to the UK. As well as the full EU supervision and enforcement framework, under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.