Draft Agreement Reached for Brexit Transition
The United Kingdom and the EU announced March 19th that they have agreed on a significant portion of the agreement to allow for the UK’s “orderly withdrawal” from the EU.
The key points of the deal are as follows:
Transitional period from March 29, 2019 to December 31, 2020.
EU citizens arriving in the UK during this period will enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those who arrive before Brexit. The same will apply to UK citizens to the EU.
The UK will be able to negotiate, sign and ratify its own trade deals during the transition period.
The UK will still be party to existing EU trade deals with other countries.
The UK’s share of fishing catch will be guaranteed during transition, but the UK will remain part of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Northern Ireland will stay in parts of the single market and the customs union in the absence of other solutions to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.
Reactions to the deal have varied, but have sparked anger within the Scottish fishing industries who stated that it was “far from acceptable,” as the deal stipulates that the UK “consulted” on access to its waters until 2021.
The industry initially expected the U.K. to withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy, but the British government has denied that it backed out of its promise to “take back control” of the water after Brexit, increasing tensions between the two countries as negotiations continue.
Chief of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Bertie Armstrong, stated that the agreement fell short, as it gave the UK full control of its waters from the moment it leaves. He further added: “We will leave the EU and leave the Common Fisheries Policy, but hand back sovereignty over our seas a few seconds later…Our fishing communities’ fortunes will still be subject to the whim and largesse of the EU for another two years.”
French European Chief Negotiator for Exiting the EU, Michael Barnier and British Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis stated that the draft agreement was a “decisive step.” However, issues regarding the Northern Irish border still hinder negotiations.
Davis also commented that the agreement on a withdrawal treaty is a major step to smooth a path to a future relationship between the UK and EU. However, Bariner added that the deal “was not the end of the road.”