Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news EU draft withdrawal agreement keeps Northern Ireland in Customs Union

EU draft withdrawal agreement keeps Northern Ireland in Customs Union

— filed under: , ,
EU draft withdrawal agreement keeps Northern Ireland in Customs Union

Michel Barnier - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - The draft withdrawal agreement between the EU and Britain, published Wednesday by the EU Commission, proposes to keep Northern Ireland within the Customs Union, against prime minister Theresa May's wishes.

The draft agreement translates into legal terms the Joint Report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on the progress achieved during phase 1 of the negotiations, published on 8 December last year, it proposes text for outstanding withdrawal issues mentioned, but not set out in detail, in the Joint Report. It also integrates the text on the transition period, based on the supplementary negotiating directives adopted by the Council (Article 50) on 29 January 2018.

While the agreement text contains "no surprises for our British partners," according to the Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, its solution for avoiding a hard border for Northern Ireland and protecting the Good Friday Agreement was firmly rejected by British prime minister Theresa May in the House of Commons: "The draft legal text the Commission has published would, if implemented, undermine the UK common market and threaten the constitutional integrity of the UK by creating a customs and regulatory border down the Irish Sea," she said to MPs, "and no UK prime minister could ever agree to it."

Of the 3 options for tackling the Northern Irish problem in the Joint Report - including through agreement of the future relationship not yet in place, or 'specific solutions not yet received from Britain', only the third could be chosen, said M Barnier: "to maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the whole island economy and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement."

This, he added, was the "backstop solution" and "the only way to guarantee that our joint commitment will be upheld in all circumstances, as the Joint Report requires."

The draft Withdrawal Agreement consists of six parts – including introductory provisions, citizens' rights, other separation issues such as goods placed on the market before the withdrawal date, the financial settlement, transitional arrangements, and institutional provisions – and a protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland. This protocol operationalises the third option outlined in the Joint Report, in order to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. This is the fall-back solution of the Joint Report, which applies in the absence of other agreed solutions. This draft protocol does not prejudge discussions on the other two options.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement is published online in accordance with the Commission's transparency policy. The Commission has presented the draft Withdrawal Agreement now to first allow for time for consultation with the Member States and the European Parliament and, subsequently, for negotiation with the United Kingdom. Given that the Withdrawal Agreement needs to be agreed and ratified before the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is important to leave sufficient time for negotiation.

The draft Withdrawal Agreement will now be sent to the Council (Article 50) and the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group for discussion, before being transmitted to the United Kingdom for negotiation.

The European Council (Article 50) has called on the United Kingdom to provide further clarity on its position on the framework for the future relationship, with a view to its meeting on 22 and 23 March, where it is expected to adopt additional guidelines.

The overall Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement will need to be concluded by the Council (Article 50), the European Parliament, and the United Kingdom according to its own constitutional requirements.

The United Kingdom has said it wants to leave the European Union on 30 March 2019.

Publication of draft Withdrawal Agreement between the 
European Union and the United Kingdom - background guide

Text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement

Document Actions

....northern ireland.....

Posted by Demir Arabaci at 01 March 2018, 21:21 CET

Kick the mick bastards and the indian rats/monkeys out of UK and clean out the garbage in Britain for once and for all.
They are all born horsethieves and crooks.
Not a single decent human being among them.