Brexit Bulletin—future UK-EU relationship negotiations in the balance

Brexit Bulletin—future UK-EU relationship negotiations in the balance

In a familiar round of remarks, the UK and EU have reported continued deadlock on core issues following the eighth round of talks on the future UK-EU relationship. Once again, both sides reported constructive discussions and positive progress in some technical areas, but they also highlighted considerable differences on their respective red lines. EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the EU had ‘shown flexibility’ in an effort to ‘find solutions’, but the UK has ‘not engaged’ on some ‘major issues’, including level playing field, fisheries and governance. UK chief negotiator, David Frost, admitting ‘challenging areas remain and the divergences on some are still significant’, is ‘committed’ to conclude an agreement before the 15 October 2020 ‘cut-off’ point, which was set by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Hanging in the balance, the talks will continue from the week beginning 14 September 2020, with negotiators on both sides still aiming to reach an agreement.

What happens next?

The UK has ‘committed to working hard’ towards reaching an agreement on the future UK-EU relationship by the 15 October 2020 ‘cut-off’ point, which was set by Boris Johnson earlier this week. For more information, see News Analysis: Brexit deal must be reached by 15 October 2020 or we walk away, Johnson says.

The EU is striving for an ‘ambitious future partnership with the UK’, while ‘intensifying its preparedness work to be ready for all scenarios on 1 January 2021’.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has made its consent to any deal contingent on a ‘detailed scrutiny of the legal provisions’:

‘The European Parliament will not accept having its democratic oversight curbed by a last-minute deal beyond the end of October.’

Both delegations have agreed to remain ‘in contact’, with meetings in Brussels ‘to continue discussions’ scheduled for the week beginning 14 September 2020.

At the moment, an agreement on the future UK-EU relationship hangs in the balance, following the EU’s ultimatum to the UK—withdraw the violating provisions of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill ‘in the shortest time possible and in any case by the end of the month’ or the EU ‘will not be shy in using’ the legal remedies contained in the Withdrawal Agreement. For more information, see: Brexit Bulletin—EU urges UK to withdraw United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, LNB News 10/09/2020 120.

For further details, see: LNB News 11/09/2020 54.

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About the author:
Mikaela is a Paralegal in the Lexis®PSL Public Law team. She read law at King’s College London and obtained her LLM from University College London. With legal knowledge and experience in multiple jurisdictions and practice areas, and a special interest in international commercial law, Mikaela has comprehensive knowledge of the legal sector’s needs. 

Since joining the Lexis®PSL Public Law team in 2019, Mikaela’s primary focus has been closely monitoring legal developments in the context of Brexit. She also provides support on related subjects and content areas including Local Government and Information Law. Mikaela is involved in LNUK Thrive Wellbeing and Gender Equality Matters working groups and is a member of the LexisNexis Brexit Steering Group.