Brexit Update: May 2017

Author:Arthur Cox
Profession:Arthur Cox

Brexit negotiations are likely to begin in earnest during the week beginning 19 June (after the UK General Election on 8 June). In the meantime, the priorities of the EU27, the UK, the Irish Government and Central Bank have become clearer since the service of the Article 50 notice signalling the UK's intention to leave both the EU and Euratom and the publication of the White Paper on the Great Repeal Bill by the UK Government at the end of March.


The EU Council formally agreed its Guidelines for Brexit negotiations at a meeting on 29 April. As expected, key aspects of the Guidelines are as follows:

the four freedoms that form part of the single market (free movement of goods, services, capital and people) are indivisible, and the UK will not be allowed participate in the single market on a sector-by-sector basis, supporting some of those freedoms but not others; the EU27 will negotiate on a unified basis - separate negotiations on Brexit between the UK and individual EU Member States will not be allowed; the first phase of the negotiations will focus on giving legal certainty to citizens, businesses, stakeholders and international partners, and on how to deal with the right and obligations that currently affect the UK in light of commitments made by it as part of its EU membership; once "sufficient progress" has been made on the first phase, discussions can start on the framework of the future EU27-UK relationship and the shape of any future free trade agreement; safeguarding the rights of EU and UK citizens will be an immediate priority, as will agreement on a single financial settlement and avoiding a return to a hard border in Ireland; and the future location of EU agencies that are currently based in the UK will need to be settled quickly - Ireland is one of the Member States hoping to become the new base for both the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). IRISH GOVERNMENT'S POSITION PAPER

Following the approval of the EU Negotiating Guidelines, the Irish Government publicly supported those Guidelines and announced the publication of its detailed position paper (Ireland and the negotiations on theUK's withdrawal from the EuropeanUnion). In that position paper, the Irish Government's key priorities were highlighted as being:

securing Ireland's future in a strong EU; ensuring the continued wellbeing of Irish citizens; minimising the impact of Brexit on Ireland's...

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