No new Brexit treaty can be prepared and agreed this fast

Tomorrow morning at 9am in tiny Luxembourg, it all kicks off

Credit: EU Commission

Barnier to present outcome of Brexit negotiations tomorrow

This is the Brexit deadline which has hardly been mentioned. It gives the UK’s negotiators just 24 more hours.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

No chance of a new Brexit Treaty

Here’s the current timeline

  • Thurs 10 Oct – Boris Johnson meets the Irish Taoiseach and makes a compromise on his offer of 02 Oct
  • Fri 11 Oct – Breakfast meeting between Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Commission negotiator Michel Barnier
  • Fri 11 Oct – Barnier briefs EU ambassadors, and serious ‘tunnel’ negotiations start
  • Sat-Mon 12-14 Oct – Secret negotiations continue between both sides
  • Tues 15 Oct – Barnier presents outcome to ‘Europe’ ministers of the EU27
  • Thurs-Fri 17-18 Oct – EU Summit of EU27 leaders where this outcome will be discussed

Four days of intense negotations cannot produce a NEW Withdrawal Agreement

At 9am tomorrow morning in the European Convention Center Luxembourg, the EU’s General Affairs Council (Art. 50) will meet. The European affairs ministers of the EU27 will be given a presentation by Michel Barnier, the EU Commission’s Chief Negotiator, on “the state of play of Brexit”.

Between 9am and 11am these ‘Europe’ (EU) ministers will discuss Brexit and come to conclusions. The EU says “On that basis, the Council will prepare the October European Council (Article 50) meeting.”

It is the role of the General Affairs Council of the EU to prepare the information for the meetings of the European (EU) Council, which involve the heads of state or government of the EU member states. These are the meetings usually referred to as “EU Council Summits”, which normally take place quarterly.

Why does this meeting tomorrow matter?

Boris Johnson’s new offer to the EU was published just 12 days ago, on 02 October 2019. Serious ‘tunnel’ negotiations only started on Friday, three days ago, following an apparent climbdown by the PM during his meeting with Leo Varadkar the previous day.

Including today, this means that serious negotiations will have lasted just four days, before Monsieur Barnier presents the results to the EU’s General Affairs Council (Art. 50).

This ‘sub-Council’ will then present its conclusions to the main EU Council, so that the EU27 can consider these BEFORE the EU Council Summit on Thursday.

This makes the effective deadline for substantive talks to be the close of play today.

Observations

Mrs May’s Surrender Treaty was a disaster – constitutionally, democratically, economically, and in almost every other way. Even the current Prime Minister described it as “dead”.

Now it seems that it is far from dead.

We have consistently maintained that it was impossible to believe that a new Treaty could be negotiated with the EU in the few months since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. The thing is just far too long and covers far too many subjects. We know, sadly, as we had to read it.

So what will happen?

Faced with a Prime Minister whose negotiating position has been deliberately torpedoed by the Remain majority in the House of Commons, the EU may choose to bend very slightly, but most certainly will not buckle. Why should they? The worst that can happen is that they end up agreeing yet another extension.

Naturally the EU27 will not be contemplating the continuation of monthly payments from the UK of almost £1 billion per month, while all this drags on…..

One thing is clear, and always has been. If the PM should succeed in bringing back ‘a deal’, it will barely tinker with the unacceptable mire that is contained in the current Withdrawal Agreement. There may be changes in respect of Northern Ireland, but this is just one issue among many.

Will the pro-Brexit MPs in the ERG (plus the few pro-Brexit Labour MPs) feel they must accept whatever is produced? Will the DUP?

All we can do is continue to stiffen sinews.

IMPORTANT : We have a further five ‘Brexit Fightback Initiative’ factsheets in preparation, in addition to the five we have already published. We are planning even more, but time is running out. Can you please help with a donation towards this vital work? The new ones will cover the Customs Union, Defence, Fishing, Free Movement, and many other areas.

Please see our Fightback Initiative page for easy details on donating and becoming a Sponsor of this work.

[ Sources: EU Council ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 14 Oct 2019

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