Brexit Blog – Brexit Withdrawal Treaty: 15 November 2018
So the proposed treaty, running to some 500 pages, has finally been released. Theresa May has won cabinet support after a five-hour meeting (or ferocious debate) and the UK’s exit moves to the next stage.
The Brexit deal still requires EU27 agreement – a summit is planned before the end of the month; and then the House of Commons has to vote on it. Then finally the European Parliament ratifies the deal.
The next stage is the approval vote in the House of Commons, but that will be far from straightforward given the Conservative minority in the House.
The ministerial resignations in Westminster have caused shockwaves. Has there ever been an issue over the years which has seen more ministerial resignations than Brexit? In the week of the Armistice centenary celebrations, it makes it even more poignant.
- The Brexit Withdrawal Treaty will be the sole UK legal pact with the EU27 from 30 March next year. The key points include:
- The UK will pay a net outlay of €40-45 billion;
- The UK will pay into EU budgets for 2019 & 2020 as if it were still in the bloc;
- Most of the UK’s contributions will be made by 2025, some (for EU staff pension payments) will continue until 2064;
- The transition period ends on 31 December 2020, but it can be extended for an unspecified one-off period, set by mutual agreement. Payments to the EU budget by the UK for approximately €10-15 billion pa are expected for any extended period;
- During the transition, the UK will continue to apply EU law in full;
- The UK will indefinitely pay ‘due regard’ to relevant EU Court rulings on citizens’ rights. UK cases can be referred to the European Court of Justice for eight years post transition;
- Negotiations will continue on a future EU27/UK trade agreement during the transition period;
- NI/Eire – free movement of people and goods continues…unless or until a separate EU/UK arrangement is agreed.
All eyes now turn to Westminster – will Theresa May still be in no. 10 at the end of the year? No deal still remains a possibility, a General Election is on the cards and a second referendum may yet come in 2019.