The next major milestone on the road to Brexit is agreement on the legal text of a Withdrawal Agreement, including the transition arrangements. A week ago, the EU published a first draft.
The EU’s draft reflects the broad areas of consensus reached in December, but there are a number of aspects that require further discussion. It is also incomplete in certain key areas, largely those that are dependent on the shape of the parties’ relationship beyond transition – which is yet to be formally discussed.
The Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech on Friday suggests that Government policy on future EU-UK relations has developed. However the unprecedented nature of this situation means consensus is likely to build only around detailed proposals. The tight timeframe and the need to develop proposals in multiple areas adds fuel to the view that the transition period may need to be longer than is currently envisaged.
This edition of Brexit Essentials looks at the content of the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the parties’ respective positions on some of the key points that remain outstanding. It also assesses the Government’s recently articulated position on future EU-UK relations.