Brexit: « The transition period has already started, » says Barnier

During the Trends Manager of the year 2017, Michel Barnier gave an overall picture of the Brexit negotiations and recalled that maintaining the integrity of the Single Market will not be negotiable.

Since the British government shows its intention of leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union and does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the only model possible is therefore a free trade agreement, which could obviate the need for trade barriers, such as customs duties, and could facilitate customs procedures and product certification:

“But one thing is clear: a free trade agreement, however ambitious, cannot include all the benefits of the Customs Union and the Single Market.” Michel Barnier, Trends Manager of the year 2017

The partnership should include security, defence and foreign policy, as well as justice and home affairs and include some sectors such as aviation and fisheries.

The transition period requested by the UK, for which the Commission proposed a period of 21 months, from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom on 29 March 2019 to 31 December 2020, has already started according to Michel Barnier.

My responsibility is to tell you the truth, he says.

Michel Barnier concludes his speech with a call for unity: « Together, at 27, we will continue to advance. We need this unity in these negotiations. But we especially need it to reform Europe and to overcome the challenges of today:

  • by building, alongside the Banking Union, a real Capital Markets Union,
  • by investing together in research, innovation and technology – that is the point of the Juncker plan,
  • by continuing to build a ‘global Europe’, which is preparing to offer our businesses new opportunities to export to Australia and New Zealand,
  • by also building a European defence, in keeping with the wishes of the European Commission, by proposing a European Defence Fund and Permanent Structured Cooperation. »

Photo credit :© European Union/ Anthony Dehez

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