EU states see Britain failing to fulfill Brexit divorce phrases


Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the Conferederation of British Industry's annual conference in London, Britain, November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks on the Conferederation of
British Industry’s annual convention in London

Thomson Reuters

By Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU envoys mentioned on Wednesday delaying
into subsequent yr the launch of talks with London on a post-Brexit
relationship, elevating the danger of companies shifting out of
Britain attributable to lack of readability on what’s going to occur after March

A gathering of ambbadadors from the opposite 27 EU states had been due
to begin discussing how you can negotiate a transition that might
begin when Britain quits the bloc in 17 months. But as a substitute,
individuals acquainted with the talks instructed Reuters, the dialogue was
dominated by concern that London would fail to fulfill EU situations
subsequent month for opening future negotiations.

Once once more, lead powers Germany and France insisted British Prime
Minister Theresa May agree in precept to pay an exit invoice in
the tens of billions of euros to Brussels earlier than EU leaders agree
to open a second section of Brexit negotiations on the long run
relationship. They instructed May at a summit final month that they had been
prepared to try this once they subsequent meet, on Dec. 14.

But British negotiators, who will probably be in Brussels on Thursday and
Friday for extra talks on that monetary settlement, in addition to
rights for EU residents and the Irish border, “mustn’t suppose
they’re crusing forward into the subsequent section”, an EU official
acquainted with the envoys’ discussions mentioned.

“While the transition and future relationship had been formally on
the agenda, what ambbadadors targeted very a lot on was actual
concern that the UK doesn’t understand that the EU27 are lethal
critical about the necessity to meet the ‘enough progress’ mark on
the three first-phase points.”

With May fighting the lack of a second scandal-hit cupboard
minister in every week, Germany, France and others are ramping up
strain on her to chop a deal within the information that companies
are piling on their very own calls for for readability earlier than making
funding choices within the new yr.


“The focus was very a lot on the right here and now and the truth that
the UK is so distant from badembly the enough progress level
and that we’re quickly operating out of time,” the official added.
Several diplomats gave comparable accounts of the badembly.

“We shouldn’t be pressured or rushed. They actually should include
the cash,” one senior EU diplomat mentioned.

The European Parliament, which should approve any withdrawal
treaty, added its voice on Wednesday. Its Brexit coordinator, Guy
Verhofstadt mentioned May’s suggestion that settlement was shut on
residents’ rights was extensive of the mark and that “major issues”
remained unresolved to ensure rights for EU nationals.

The EU official mentioned the ambbadadors agreed that with out
“sufficient progress” on divorce points within the subsequent month, the
talks would merely be prolonged into 2018 with no discussions on
the long run — talks that London is eager to begin instantly.

“If they do not transfer till early December, we’ll need to suppose
once more what to do subsequent,” the senior diplomat said. “Then there
may very well be a take it or depart it provide from us, which might clearly
not be very good to Britain and at residence they might fall below
immense strain to stroll away from the talks.”

Some Brexit backers in her personal authorities have urged May to stroll
out with out a withdrawal deal, arguing that the EU additionally has an
curiosity in an orderly cut up and that the British financial system can
stand any disruption — a view not shared by many companies.

Several EU officers mentioned Britain must abide by all EU
legal guidelines within the transition interval, even when they’re modified throughout
that point, however would don’t have any vote on them. And that such a
transition, which each side have mentioned ought to final lower than two
years, might need to be prolonged to present time for a commerce pact.

“It’s unattainable to get any bespoke commerce deal in two years or
so,” said an EU parliament official who deals with Brexit. “And
for all that point the UK could be an EU colony — pressured to
settle for all our legal guidelines with no say.

“This is what I call a definition of colony.”

(Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Toby Chopra)

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