The Brexit agreement from the EU by the UK is to be concluded “by October 2018”, said on Tuesday, by the European Commission Michel Barnier, calling on the British government, faced with the uncertainties of judicial proceedings, not to waste time.
“Time is short, it is clear that the negotiation period will be shorter than two years,” said Michel Barnier, speaking for the first time at a press conference since taking office last October.
The French said that the Brexit agreement to be negotiated between London and Brussels should then be approved by the Council (representing the member states) and the European Parliament and the United Kingdom within the limit of the two-year period under the procedure.
— Laurent Marchand (@LMarchand2) December 6, 2016
“If the United Kingdom notifies the European Council by the end of March 2017, we can say that the negotiations could start in a few weeks” and that agreement must be reached “by October 2018” to allow time to lead the process to its conclusion before the European elections in 2019, said Michel Barnier.
“Less than 18 months to negotiate”
“Overall, we have less than 18 months to negotiate” , he insisted, repeating in English and French, that “the EU is ready to receive the notification” British to formally initiate divorce proceedings.
Once completed the divorce agreement, it is “difficult to imagine a transitional period” before precisely defining the terms of the future relationship with the EU, he further stated. A “transition period” would not “sense” that “if it facilitates the path to the future relationship agreement”, he has said.
Michel Barnier récuse l’expression hard ou soft #brexit et veut un accord clair, qui preserve l’intérêt et l’unité des 27.
— Pascal Verdeau (@PascalVerdeau) December 6, 2016
Before speaking, Michel Barnier has consulted the 27 EU member states (excluding the UK) to take the pulse of their positions on the desired terms of the divorce. During his speech, he called on the EU to remain united.
— Fabien Cazenave (@FabienCazenave) December 6, 2016
He has also already met with the British Minister of Brexit, David Davis, on the 21st November. But it was a “courtesy meeting”, he had then insisted, hammering that no negotiations would begin before the formal launch of the EU’s removal procedure by London.
Maintain access to the single market
The British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to launch by the end of March 2017, although present procedure before the Supreme Court could delay this calendar.
The eleven judges of the highest court in the UK examine in effect until Thursday the decision in early November by the High Court in London, under which the Government can not activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – which will launch the negotiations separation – without consulting Parliament.
London has so far unclear what his wishes, the government simply stating that he wanted to keep “the maximum possible access” to the European single market, while keeping maximum Immigration citizens European.
Several dozen Conservative MPs could ally Wednesday in the Labour opposition in the British Parliament to demand that the government published its plan for Brexit without waiting for the release of Article 50.
On the side of the EU, European officials consider that freedom of movement is coupled with access to the single market.
From Brussels, the Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem today called on the UK to adopt a “different attitude” vis-à-vis the EU, if the country wants the divorce happens “orderly” . “The things I’ve heard so far are inconsistent” with the prospect of output “gentle” , he warned.
Prevent threats to financial stability
Also in Brussels on Tuesday, the British finance minister, Philip Hammond, called for an exit agreement “as smooth as possible” . “This minimizes threats to the financial stability of Europe and lessens potential disruptions of relationships between companies that produce in Europe and the banks that finance in London” , he argued.
Philip Hammond has confirmed the British minister responsible declarations of Brexit, under which the UK could consider paying to maintain access to the single market.
Theresa May and other leaders of EU countries meeting on 15 December in Brussels for an EU summit. But the Prime Minister was not invited to the dinner that will close the meeting to discuss the Brexit.