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EU: Progress Made On Brexit, But Not Enough

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

23 October 2017


The EU will begin "internal preparatory discussions" ahead of phase two of the Brexit negotiations, which will focus on the future EU-UK relationship.

On October 20, the leaders of the EU's remaining 27 member states met to discuss the state of Brexit negotiations.

The EU's position is that "sufficient" progress must be made in three key issues regarding the UK's withdrawal before negotiations can move on to the future relationship. These three areas are: citizens' rights, the financial settlement, and issues affecting Ireland/Northern Ireland.

At its October 20 meeting, the European Council called for "work to continue with a view to consolidating the convergence achieved and pursuing negotiations in order to be able to move to the second phase of the negotiations as soon as possible."

The Council will assess the state of progress at its next session in December. If it agrees that sufficient progress has been made on each of the three key issues, it will adopt guidelines regarding the framework for the future relationship and on possible transitional arrangements.

Council President Donald Tusk said that "while progress is not sufficient, it doesn't mean that there is no progress at all."

Tusk added that the Council's decisions to begin internal preparations on the future relationship and possible transition arrangements "would not be possible without the new momentum given by the Florence speech of Prime Minister May." He explained that the internal work will take into account of the proposals presented by May in that speech and that the EU will continue to approach the negotiations "positively and constructively."

"I hope we will be able to move to the second phase of our talks in December," Tusk said.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | value added tax (VAT) | Ireland | export duty | law | trade treaty | United Kingdom | agreements | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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