This morning at the European Commission’s Headquarters in Brussels, Michel Barnier, negotiator of the 27 European countries met the British Secretary of State, David Davis for the first round of the “divorce”, one year after the referendum that sanctioned the « Leave » victory. “I hope that today, we can identify priorities that will allow me to report to the European Council that we have had a constructive day of negotiation” said Barnier. Prime Minister Theresa May sent his minister David Davis to take the first step with the French negotiator Michel Barnier.
According to experts, London’s position should not be changed compared to what May had said on March 29 in its letter of notification of the British intention to leave the EU, activating Article 50 of the Treaty. She announced that the United Kingdom would leave not only the EU, but also the single market and the European Customs Union, without ambiguity prefiguring a « hard Brexit ». But at the same time she underlined her will to cooperate with the European countries in the field of security and terrorism.
At this point, Europeans hope that the new government will not be established, and that a new one will be authorized in order to close negotiations: Brussels wants stability. It is feared that a weak and timid government could be a danger for the European stability. In addition, a collapse in the current negotiations could erase all the progress made.
The farewell consists of three points. First, the EU, who asks for a right of residence for life for the three million European citizens resident in the United Kingdom. Secondly, the 60-billion-euro-billed farewell payment in London, which is not yet quantified by Brussels, but is called on to cover all the financial outlays to which London has committed itself: various European programs, the costs for Brexit, including the transfer of the two EU agencies (Ema and Eba) from London, and the future pensions of British officials to European institutions. Third, the management of new frontiers between Britain and the Union, starting from the Irish one, that is the most delicate (it aims to avoid the return of a physical frontier that could create new tensions between Dublin and Belfast by managing the entry of products and people in Europe through a virtual customs dispersed across Irish territory thanks to the massive use of technology).
Maria Elena Argano
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