Key Brexit dates ahead

By AFP
Published: March 2, 2018
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the two sides are now seeking to agree a transition and trade deal
PHOTO: AFP

the two sides are now seeking to agree a transition and trade deal PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Britain is set to reveal its negotiating demands for the country’s future relationship with the European Union Friday, with just over a year to go before its leaving date.

After securing agreement last year on the key issues – citizens’ rights, the Irish border and Britain’s financial settlement – the two sides are now seeking to agree a transition and trade deal.

Here are some key dates in the path to separation on March 29, 2019:
March 2: May outlines her vision for the future relationship following a fractious week in which she rejected the EU’s draft divorce treaty, which put into legal language December’s agreement.

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The text included a ‘backstop’ solution to the problem of the post-Brexit border between EU-member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland, which would see the two countries remain in a customs alignment.

May said that the proposal threatened Britain’s constitutional integrity, and she will be expected to outline how she will avoid a hard border while allowing Britain and Ireland to adopt different customs rules.

She will also provide further details about the expected two-year “implementation period” requested by Britain to provide continuity while new arrangements on the future relationship are established.

Brussels made clear that Britain would have to accept the bloc’s laws despite not having any policy-making power, in return for continued access to the EU’s single market.

March 4: General election in Italy, the fourth largest economy in the EU, which will pit a strong centre-right coalition against populists and a divided left.

March 22-23: EU leaders meet at a summit in Brussels, where they expect to sign off on a deal for the post-Brexit transition.
They are also anticipated to agree guidelines for negotiations on the future relationship, including trade, which will start in April.

March 29: One year to go until Brexit.

June 28-29: EU leaders meet at another summit in Brussels.
End of October: Deadline set by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to wrap up the talks with Britain.

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This would give time for the EU member states, the European Parliament and the British parliament to ratify the deal before exit day.

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis said he was aiming at concluding the talks by the “last quarter” of 2018.

March 29: Britain leaves the EU after four decades of membership. Expected transition period begins.

December 31: End of the anticipated transition period, under the EU’s current proposals.

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