The text of fifteen pages lays the foundations for the transitional period and the three priority issues of the rights of expatriate citizens, the Irish border and the bill of separation.
After long days and nights of negotiations, London and Brussels have reached this Friday morning to make public an agreement . This one, materialized by a document of about fifteen pages, concentrates above all on the main lines of the method which will have to be followed.
And let those who will be in charge of the second phase of negotiations, to agree and settle the practical details of the announced divorce of London and the European Union.
Brexit: what to remember from the agreement
A transition of "about two years"
The text on which both parties managed to agree provides for a transition period that should last approximately two years. During this time, the United Kingdom will remain in the customs union and the single market and will remain subject to European legislation, but will no longer participate in decision-making in the European Union.
Also according to this text, the European Union is ready to engage in preliminary discussions on a future agreement with London. Designed to govern the future of trade relations between the United Kingdom and Europe at 27, it can however be completed only effective departure from the United Kingdom.
At his press conference, Michel Barnier, the Brexit Chief Negotiator for the Union, said it will be negotiated on the model of the free trade agreement with Canada.
"These are our British friends who indicate these red lines [...] So it will be on this model that we will work," said Michel Barnier.
It also details the principles on three priority issues: the rights of expatriate citizens, the management of the border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland and the financial regulation of separation.
The rights of insured European citizens
Clarifications on the first of these files were expected by some 4 million people (including one million Britons living on the continent).
"Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and British citizens living in the EU27 will retain the same rights once the UK leaves the EU" says the agreement signed on Friday.
Europeans living in the United Kingdom will be able to "continue their lives as before," said Theresa May.
No hard border in Ireland
The Irish question was particularly sensitive since it was on this point that the agreement that was about to be signed at the beginning of the week was stumbled.
In fact, the text finally plans to keep the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland open. The two negotiators "recognize the need to respect" the 1998 peace accord that ended thirty years of bloody clashes between nationalists and North Irish unionists. And which has resulted in the disappearance of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"The UK remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and avoiding a hard border," says the pre-agreement.
A decision hailed as "a very good result for everyone on the island of Ireland" this Friday by Simon Coveney, Irish Foreign Minister.
London will have to pay the invoice in euros
Last point of compromise between London and Brussels, the financial aspects of divorce. On this point, the text is careful not to give details about the invoice that will have to pay London. Referring to the second phase of the negotiations "the practical arrangements for implementing the agreed methodology and the schedule of payments".
Downing Street told AFP that the bill was estimated at 40 to 45 billion euros at the current exchange rate. This amount is "fair", a spokesman told Reuters.
This amount is close to the minimum amount required in March by Micher Barnier: 100 billion euros and the maximum figure advanced by Theresa May: 60 billion euros. See article in the previous Newsletter
Result of the negotiations: 40 billion euros
Who has bowed? Do not ask the media because you will have the wrong answer
In her press conference, Prime Minister Theresa May also stressed that the bill would be "fair" for British taxpayers.
For his part, Michel Barnier considered that it was not possible to give a precise figure. "We can not calculate exactly the amounts in question, all these figures will move," assured, "he said.
Source: © Brexit: what the agreement between London and Brussels says
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