Sun Apr 2nd, 2017 at 07:54:22 AM EST
We've had two front-page stories on Theresa Msy's Article 50 letter, so here is one about the EU Council's negotiating position (from Bloomberg, or did you think the Council would publish them on its website rather than leak them?).
You can watch Donald Tusk's press conference here (4 videos, there is an arrow to switch to the next one in the series).
Tusk summarised the main points of the guidelines thus.
- The EU sees the Brexit negotiations as an exercise in damage control and aims to minimise uncertainty and disruption.
- The EU seeks reciprocal, enforceable and nondiscriminatory guarantees for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU.
- The EU seeks legal certainty for EU companies operating in the UK.
- The EU will seek that the UK honour the financial commitments made before the Article 50 trigger
It is only fair towards all those people, communities, scientists, farmers and so on to whom we, all the 28, promised and owe this money.This is a nice way to turn the tables on the breathless "Brexit bill" reporting, not that the British press can be expected to carry Tusk's framing.
- The EU will be flexible and creative to avoid a hard border in Ireland, and aims to avoid disruption of the Good Friday Agreement.
- Only after the Council sees "sufficient progress" on the above will the EU engage the UK on trade arrangements after Brexit.
- The EU, like the UK, professes to aim for strong trade and security ties after Brexit.
Some things that Tusk didn't emphasise in his opening remarks include that
- the EU excludes bilateral agreements between the UK and individual member states; and
- any transitional arrangement that involves a continuation of EU law implies the Union's regulatory, budgetary, supervisory and enforcement instruments and structures would still apply.
And, of course, until the end of March 2019, the UK remains a member of the EU with all its rights and obligations including "sincere cooperation".
The reaction to this in the UK's not-foaming-at-the-mouth press has been a shocked realisation that the EU holds all the cards and dictates the terms of the negotiations. So much for taking back control.