Five main points from the government's big Brexit deal

Lucy Bush
March 20, 2018

"We have travelled a large section of the path toward an orderly withdrawal", European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters in Brussels, in front of a power-point display highlighting that a political agreement has been reached on most issues.

Barnier underlined that "if new proposals are made that respect" Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace agreement, that keep open the Irish border and that respect Europe's single market, then "we are ready to examine them".

As for citizens' rights, European citizens from the 27 states of the EU who arrive in Britain during the transitional period will have same rights as citizens who arrived before the Brexit, said the deal. But Dublin wants this year's treaty to lock in a "backstop" or fallback arrangement in case that future agreement does not work.

The tech sector will however be concerned that there remains no formal agreement around the ongoing ability to deliver the free flow of data during the transition period.

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It is hoped the agreement on the transitional period can be signed off by Theresa May and European Union leaders at an European Union summit this week.

He argued that Mrs May had been able to "fudge" the issue until now but that strategy "doesn't work any more".

Despite accepting that a backstop on maintaining a regulatory alignment between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will be included in the final withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom has insisted that it has not accepted the current wording proposed by the EU.

He said: "Good meeting with @MichelBarnier again this morning - #Brexit negotiations are moving forward - progress on Irish issues remains a key priority for both negotiating teams and solidarity with our European Union partners remains strong".

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On March 29 a year ago, the British government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, beginning the process of UK's exit from the European bloc.

"But it remains our intention to achieve a partnership that is so close as to not require specific measures in relation to Northern Ireland and therefore we will be engaged in detail on all the scenarios set out in the joint report", he stated.

Banks and insurers have said they might not be able to rely on such a political deal as it will not be formally ratified by governments until October or later, which would be too late for them to avoid making adjustments to their operations.

To achieve the accord, the British government retreated from an earlier pledge and conceded that European Union citizens who arrived in Britain during the transition period would have the same rights as those already in the country.

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However, he described the agreements as a "decisive" moment for efforts to avoid Britain crashing out without a deal. Davis said the deal would allow companies "to plan for the future with confidence".

Other reports by Info About Network

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