White smoke. Brussels and London have closed this morning, at dawn, a historic agreement on conditions of ir divorce, first departure of European Union in more than 60 years. In a negotiation at highest level between Jean-Claude Juncker, head of European Commission, and British Prime Minister, Theresa May, British government has pledged to pay bill of Brexit, for an amount of between 40,000 and 60 billion euros , and has guaranteed rights of European citizens living in United Kingdom (and accepts role of European Court of Justice on a voluntary basis). Most importantly, Union and United Kingdom have reached a pact on border with Ireland, most delicate chapter. "There will be no hard border," May has been congratulated, "and we guarantee integrity of United Kingdom."Learn More
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"We have made great efforts on both sides and agreement allows us to begin negotiating future relationship," said May in a joint press conference with Juncker. "We recommend that European Council accept that re is sufficient progress in negotiating to move to next phase," said Juncker, "although much remains to be done." The Chairman of Council, Donald Tusk, explained that re is a preagreement to start negotiating transition period, for a period of two years. The following will be future commercial relationship between British and European.
Brussels is a factory of years. His specialty is that kind of early morning negotiations. And that has been case once again: particularly in Irish chapter. Juncker and May, in a frantic negotiation involving also Irish Prime Minister Leo Varakdar, and Arlene Foster (leader of party norrn DUP, who supports May), avoid a hard border with Norrn Ireland, and respect at same time integrity of United Kingdom. How? Basically, twisting language: instead of forcing "regulatory convergence" (which consists in putting all Community law into British law to remain within single market and customs union), Brussels and London agree a " Regulatory alignment, "a euphemism that means virtually same, but it is ambiguous enough that May and its government partners can swallow that pill. Everything changes so that everything stays same: kick forward with that kind of soft Brexit for Ireland's "exceptional case".
Norrn Ireland thus achieves, for moment, to continue in customs union and in internal market, and both parties manage not to return border in an area hit for years by an interminable conflict that ended with agreements of Good Friday.
I very much welcome prospect of moving ahead to next phase of Brexit talks on trade and security, and to discuss positive and ambitious future relationship that is in all of our interests: Https://t.co/KyZH4SgVn8 pic.twitter.com/wahSxaXEA8— Theresa May (@resa_may) December 8, 2017
Champagne for breakfast: Juncker and May have signed 15 pages of a brief "report on progress" of negotiation in first hour. Everything was prepared for Rubricarlo last Monday, but internal difficulties of May (which remains in government thanks to a Unionist party in Norrn Ireland) prevented pact last minute. "It is a sad moment, but you have to look at future and I am sure that United Kingdom will be a friend and an ally of Europe," said head of EU executive arm. 534 days after referendum, divorce contract is on table. The heads of State of and Gobeirno should Rubricarlo next week. But hardest thing, paradoxically, begins now: negotiation for transition period, which will be lengned by at least 2021, and on future trade relationship between United Kingdom and European Union.
For all this y had to reach magic words, "progress enough". May is agree to pay bill for an amount ranging between 40,000 and 60 billion euros (including future liabilities, such as European civil servants ' pensions with a British passport) and to guarantee rights of more than four Millions of British in European and European soil in British soil (London is committed to giving a role to European Court indefinitely, and for eight years British judges will be able to go to Luxembourg if y have doubts about European norm). And London and Brussels find a way to save party ball in which border with Ireland had become classic kick forward: that thorny chapter will not really resolve until later. "The exceptional circunsatancias of Ireland," said May, "allow re to be no frontier and at same time conserve economic and constitutional integrity of United Kingdom."
The legal formula for this is most twisted, and it allows invisible border between Ireland and Norrn Ireland to be maintained. "The United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with rules of internal market and customs Union, now and in future, to support relationship between north and south, island economy and protection of 1998 Agreement," agreed text says.
The European Commission thus recommends moving to second phase of negotiation of Brexit, which could include a free trade agreement, by considering that "sufficient progress" was achieved in three priorities of talks ( bill, right of Citizenship and Norrn Ireland). The European Council must now give its approval to analysis of Community executive at summit next week: If that green light arrives, Brussels and London will begin to discuss a possible transition period of two years after departure of United Kingdom , planned on 29 March 2019, and conditions of future commercial relationship.
May made it clear, moreover, that re is no turning back. "The referendum was settled with a significant majority." The British voted to leave EU, and obligation of a politician is to respect that mandate. We will leave EU, said May after appealing to sovereignty, borders and pocket: "In future we will have more funds to decide where to invest." May is aware that United Kingdom and Europe will trasquilados from divorce. And that London has more to lose: The British economy already has several flu symptoms. And this has done nothing but start. But for moment, that pact leaves with two palmos of noses to at least two groups: Partisans of Brexit Duro, who wanted to leave EU to bravas, without any agreement, and especially those that still dreamed of that meet United stay in union.