Brexit: Beyond the transition

21 August 2018
Andrew Duff (President of the Spinelli Group; Former Member of the European Parliament 1999-2014)

The agreement reached by the British cabinet at Chequers is decisive for Brexit. The subsequent White Paper confirms the UK’s objective of reaching a comprehensive, dynamic association agreement with the EU. There is still uncertainty, however, with respect to British policy on the movement of people and the regulation of customs and financial services. The institutions for joint governance of the association agreement are assured with the exception of the future judicial authority. Doubts remain over the capacity of the British state to manage the Brexit process, and over the ability of the UK parliament to scrutinise it.

Drafting the Political Declaration that must accompany the Withdrawal Agreement is the next critical step. The Salzburg summit on 20 September should confirm that there will be no extension of the Article 50 talks but that the transition period will be prolonged. In Britain, mainstream politicians of all parties should ready themselves to accept the Barnier package deal. A second referendum would risk the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

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