The EU-27 came to an agreement on its negotiating position on Monday with regards to the UK’s post-Brexit transition, during which it wants London to continue to participate in the EU budget but renounce all decision-making power in the EU.
Brussels envisages the transition period lasting from Brexit day, April 29, 2019, until December 31, 2020.
The conditions being imposed by the 27 countries that will remain in the EU will cause a stir on the British side, especially among the supporters of a clear break with Brussels and fear the UK becoming a “vassal state” of the bloc during the transition period.
Ministers of the 27, meeting in Brussels on Monday, approved in a few minutes their directives allowing their chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, to begin discussing the terms of this transition with his British counterpart David Davis.
“EU general affairs council adopts guidelines for Brexit negotiations within two minutes: status quo transition without institutional representation, lasting from Brexit date to 31 December 2020,” Sabine Weyand, Barnier’s assistant, said on Twitter.
This means that the UK will no longer have a representative in the institutions, no more voting rights and will no longer participate in most meetings, but it will still be subject to the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice and will contribute to the European budget
“When the U.K. leave the European Union they will not be a voice around the table” Irish EU Affairs Minister Helen McEntee said on Monday, stressing that the 27 have to preserve the integrity of the single market and the Customs Union.
At a summit last December in Brussels, the leaders of the 27 had agreed to open the negotiations on the transition, after having reached a provisional agreement with London on the terms of the withdrawal, including the rights of citizens, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the financial divorce settlement.