The second round of Brexit negotiations (28 August-31 August) will deal with the financial settlement, citizens' rights, other separation issues and Northern Ireland.
Brexit negotiations: issue of sequencing
EU and UK negotiators will continue talks on Brexit between Monday 28 August and Thursday 31 August.
However, it seems talks will be difficult. Among the items on the agenda are citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, other separation issues, Northern Ireland and the governance of the withdrawal agreement.
The EU believes it is too early to talk about specific solutions. Michel Barnier, the Brexit negotiator for the European Commission, is expecting a proposal on the calculation of a financial settlement; however, this seems unlikely, as the British government has not yet agreed internally on this issue. The financial settlement covers spending commitments the UK has already made, such as those for the current multiannual budgetary framework, as well as Brexit-related costs.
Among other topics, the UK’s involvement in the European Investment Bank, based in Luxembourg, will be discussed. The UK is one of the four largest shareholders.
Another issue is the transition period and other separation issues, such as the availability of goods on the market and civil judicial cooperation at the withdrawal date. The UK has published those papers last week (see here and here).
On citizens’ rights, the points of contention are whether EU law will continue to apply to citizens in the UK after Brexit, and residence rights. The EU wants to make progress on issues such as social security coordination, the status of frontier workers and on professional qualifications.
The opposition Labour Party’s Keir Starmer has stated that his party wants to stay in the single market during the transition period. The shadow secretary of state for exiting the EU also envisaged that “remaining in a form of customs union with the EU is a possible end destination for Labour, but that must be subject to negotiations.”
EU citizens leave the UK
Meanwhile, statistics from the ONS show that 120,000 EU citizens have left the UK between April 2016 and March 2017. This represents an increase of 37% over one year. EU immigration also decreased by 7% (-19,000 arrivals).