Brexit statement at a glance

UK prime minister Theresa May today announced that the long-awaited breakthrough in Brexit negotiations had finally been reached thanks to some last-minute horse-trading, meaning that now the second phase relating to trade deals could commence.

The key points are:

• There will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

• Northern Ireland will remain entirely within the UK, with no separate regulatory environment (a key demand by the Democratic Unionist Party that is providing the Conservative government with a working majority on a “confidence and supply” arrangement

• The rights of EU citizens in the UK and of UK citizens in the EU will be protected and remain unchanged

• The so-called “divorce bill” will be somewhere between £35bn and £39bn

Jonathan Boyd, editor of International Investment‘s sister title Investment Europe scoured the European Council statement on the agreement for further details.

He said on his Twitter feed:

• Is UK space programme stuffed? See Article 66, top of p11 in the English language version of today’s agreed statement out of Brussels. “… not part of the financial settlement…”

• Presumably Article 73 was designed specifically to give Brexiteers a bleed on the brain? “The UK states that it may wish to participate in some Union budgetary programmes of the new MFF post-2020 as a non-Member State.”

• No money to save on exiting Euratom it seems. UK “…is committed to a future regime that provides coverage and effectiveness equivalent to existing Euratom arrangements.” Article 89

Possible to bypass the 30-year rule during the transition period, after exit date? Article 95. “…classified information and other documents obtained by both sides whilst the UK was a Member State retain the same level of protection as before withdrawal.”

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Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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