Mostrando entradas de septiembre, 2017

A concession?

For all the fighting talk at the start of the fourth round of Brexit negotiations, the EU is now considering a concession.
Moving talks on to trade next month looks all but out of reach, but Bloomberg’s Ian Wishart and Viktoria Dendrinou report that EU governments may allow negotiations about the transition period to be brought forward. It’s a minor concession and the two sides remain far apart on some key issues, but movement on an issue that’s so crucial for U.K. businesses would ease negotiations over the bill.
It would also show that Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence last week hit at least some of the right notes in Europe.
The concession could see chief negotiator Michel Barnier handed an amended mandate. When EU leaders meet at a summit in October they may allow Barnier to address the transition alongside the divorce, according to people familiar with the situation. Initially any transition was meant to be debated only after the divorce had been settled and the outlin…

The bill is getting bigger

The Brexit bill might just have got even bigger.
As negotiators haggle line by line over what each side thinks Britain should pay when it leaves, the latest budget data include some unwelcome numbers. The European Union’s liabilities grew almost 4 percent in 2016, with the cost of pensions for EU officials and lawmakers rising more than 5 percent, according to budget documents obtained by Bloomberg’s Ian Wishart and Marine Strauss.
Pension costs are already one of the trickiest bits of the bill—Brexit Secretary David Davis called them “debatable” at the weekend—and the latest data will sharpen that debate. Swelling EU costs will also provide fodder for British euroskeptics who would rather Britain walked away without paying anything, and who object to Prime Minister Theresa May’s offer to keep paying into the EU budget for two years after Brexit. 
Negotiators need to take into account costs that will continue to rise until then, not just current liabilities. That’s why it’s impossible to…

Back to square one?

Minutes into the fourth round of Brexit talks, which started in Brussels on Monday, Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis shattered the illusion that the U.K. was ready to play by the EU’s rules on the divorce bill. Whatever Prime Minister Theresa May said in Florence last week about meeting the U.K.’s financial commitments, Davis made it clear Britain will only pay up if it gets the final deal it wants. 
“It’s obvious that reaching a conclusion on this issue can only be done in the context of, and in accordance with, a new deep and special partnership with the EU,” Davis said, standing alongside EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who has made it clear the bill needs to be sorted first.

Watch: Barnier Demands Brexit Clarity from U.K.
Even before Davis arrived in Brussels, European affairs ministers briefed by Barnier were skeptical that EU leaders will be able to sign off on talks moving on to the trade deal Britain wants in October, according to people in the meeting who declined to b…

Reino Unido se compromete a no crear un 'DNI' especial para europeos tras el Brexit

El Gobierno de Reino Unido parece estar dando pasos hacia un mayor reconocimiento de los derechos de los europeos una vez que se consume el Brexiten la primavera de 2019. En una reunión mantenida hoy con los representantes del colectivo the3million, el Ministerio del Interior se ha comprometido a no crear un DNI especial, no pedir ingresos mínimos y tampoco exigir el seguro médico privado para poder permanecer en el país.
Desde el colectivo de defensa de los derechos de los ciudadanos europeos ya se ha celebrado este paso como una pequeña victoria -llevan reclamando estos compromisos desde el referéndum de junio de 2016- y empiezan a ver con optimismo la resolución de unas negociaciones que llevan enquistadas prácticamente desde su inicio.
"Teniendo en cuenta el clima de discriminación que destapamos recientemente, se trata de un paso muy bienvenido a la hora de enfrentar la incertidumbre y la confusión que se ha creado alrededor del nuevo estatus que tendrán los ciudadanos europeo…

May propone una transición de dos años tras el Brexit

La primera ministra británica ofreció seguir contribuyendo sustancialmente a las arcas de la UE durante un periodo de transición de dos años, una vez consumado el Brexit. Su discurso de este viernes por la tarde en Florencia, que había generado alta expectación en Londres y en Europa, deparó tímidos avances en los términos del divorcio. Trataba May de desbloquear las negociaciones con Bruselas y poder avanzar en las discusiones sobre la relación futura. Pero una líder debilitada, con el campo de maniobra minado por la guerra latente en su Gobierno, ni mucho menos despejó la gran incógnita sobre cómo ve esos futuros lazos entre Reino Unido y el continente.
A los Veintisiete les corresponderá valorar si el discurso de Theresa May en Florencia -acaso el más importante que ha pronunciado sobre el tema hasta la fecha, al menos en términos del momento en que se produce y de la escenificación- supone el “progreso suficiente” en los términos del divorcio que demandan para empezar a hablar de l…

Brexit: The clock is still ticking...

Theresa May’s big Brexit speech had been talked up for weeks. It even overshadowed, and eventually led to the cancellation of September’s round of talks in Brussels. The mere prospect of it spurred Boris Johnson to rebel, leading to days of intrigue at the United Nations before the prime minister and her top diplomat patched things up on the way home.
After all that, what did the prime minister deliver in Florence?

She proposed for the first time that the U.K. would seek a transitional arrangement to smooth the path after the date of Brexit (March 29, 2019, in case it slipped your mind). That period could last “about two years,” May said.
She also pledged that the U.K. would honor its existing commitments to the European Union budget. “I do not want our partners to fear that they will need to pay more or receive less over the remainder of the current budget plan as a result of our decision to leave,” May said in the Tuscan capital. “The U.K. will honor commitments we have made during the…

May's Italian jobs

Theresa May will have multiple audiences in mind today when she stands up at around 3:15 p.m. (2:15 p.m. BST) in the medieval cloister of a one-time monastery in Florence to reboot her Brexit strategy.
First off she will seek to persuade Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator, that she’s got what it takes to break the impasse in the divorce talks. Barnier was clear on Thursday that he wants to hear May give ground on issues preventing the EU from shifting the talks to trade. Those sticking points are money, citizens’ rights and the Irish border.
“If we want a deal, time is of the essence,” he said. “To make progress, we are waiting for clear commitments from the U.K.”

As Tim Ross reported on Wednesday, May has been considering using the speech to offer not just to pay for the transitional period she wants but also to be more constructive towards the larger Brexit bill.
Now the Financial Times reports she will also vow to strengthen legal protections for EU nationals liv…

What May will say

With a day to go before Theresa May delivers her keynote speech on Brexit in Florence, Bloomberg’s Tim Ross has the inside line on how the writing process is going.
Tim reported overnight that the prime minister is weighing whether to accept for the first time the need to discuss the European Union’s demand for a “Brexit bill” totaling tens of billions of pounds. Doing so would be a move designed to kick-start the divorce negotiations.
May will meet with her Cabinet on Thursday and she’s already signaling publicly she will use her address to try to bypass EU negotiator Michel Barnier and appeal directly to the leaders of the 27 other EU governments. She’s still hoping they will be willing to sanction trade talks as soon as next month.
“What I will be doing on Friday is setting out an update on where we are and looking ahead in the negotiations,” May told reporters on her trip to the United Nations. “The Council has given a mandate to the Commission, which has appointed Michel Barnier, bu…

Living on Boris Time

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson walked away from the brink of resigning, clearing the path for Prime Minister Theresa May to engage with the European Union on Brexit.
Johnson will attend May’s speech in Florence on Friday and told the Guardian he is “mystified” by media reports he was close to quitting over her strategy towards the EU.
“Not me, guv,” he said. “I don’t know where it’s coming from, honestly.”
Peace was brokered on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, which both May and Johnson are attending. One aide to May rejected the suggestion that she had made concessions to Johnson to win his support.
Now the focus turns to Florence. The EU is eager to discover more about where May stands on payments into the EU budget and how long she wants a transitional period to last. She will be hoping to do enough to unblock negotiations set to restart next week and increase the chances they will soon turn to a long-term trade deal.
The Financial Times reported that May…