BEERG: EU, UK May Be Inching Forward in Brexit Negotiations

December 01, 2017

After the EU imposed a December 4 deadline on the UK government to put a proposal on the table covering questions regarding citizens' rights, financial obligations, and the Irish border, reports that the UK has accepted the EU's estimates of its outstanding financial obligations indicate the UK may intend to submit such a proposal and thus allow talks to move forward.  BEERG's most recent Global Labor Newsletter reports that European Council President Donald Tusk has said that without such a proposal, the European Council will be unable to declare sufficient progress to move to phase two of the negotiations, which will cover the "the framework for [the UK's] future relationship with the Union."  If the UK fails to issue a sufficient proposal, on the other hand, the talks would be postponed to February 2018.  However, reaching an agreement faces political challenges on all three issues needed in the proposal, including the outstanding financial obligations.  "Where there is confusion," the Newsletter reads, "is that many in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party appear to believe that payments will only be made if and when the EU offers the UK a 'good' trade agreement.  This is not the case.  The payments are to settle old obligations and commit the EU to nothing in the future.  This should become clear when the terms of any deal are put on paper.  Once the penny drops, whether or not May can carry her party with her is an open question."  Read the full BEERG Newsletter.  Read the most recent BEERG Brexit briefing.