Eureka, after time-consuming negotiations British and Europeans authorities were able to strike a deal. The milestone will allow the talks to move for its second phase. But what does that mean in practice? It means that progress has been made regarding citizen rights, borders with Ireland and British financial engagements. Also, the “no deal” scenario became unlikely.
The 16-page document issued on Friday (December 8) states that the rights of British and European citizens shall be respected according to the values and understanding of the Court of Justice of the EU as follows:
The negotiators have reached a fair and equitable common understanding, based on Union law concepts as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union, on the protection of citizens who have built their lives on the basis of rights flowing from United Kingdom membership of the European Union.
Such measures will protect approximately 4 million individuals.
With regards to Ireland/Northern Ireland, it was agreed that London would abstain from building a hard borderline. In order to avoid uncertainty authorities have decided that in the absence of common solutions, the UK shall remain aligned with the rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union.
Negotiators also succeeded to find a common ground on British financial engagements. The UK must honor its financial obligations in relation to the EU Budget until 2020. Britain will also contribute to the EIB, ECB, EU Trust Funds, European Development Fund, the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and Council agencies.
It is estimated that the divorce will cost to the UK between £35bn and £39bn. It should be noted that this will be the direct cost of Brexit. Side effects will strike the British. According to a study made available by the Resolution Foundation, Britain will lose £72 billion in annual economic activity by 2021.
President Jean-Claude Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May announced the deal to the press as a milestone. The British newspaper The Financial Times summarized the highlights of the press conference in the video below:
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier believes that the current state affairs provides the UK with the opportunity to see a trade deal similar to the one being implemented with Canada—for sure it will be a downgrade vis-à-vis to the ties that both sides of the Channel share today.
The measures agreed last week will undergo the analyses of the EU Council that will decide their fate on December 14-15.