UKTiE Brexit ‘news and views’, which aims to provide you with the key headlines for the week ahead in relation to Brexit, Brussels and transport, in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. We hope this news, analysis and advice will help you manage your Brexit strategy.

UKTiE Brexit or 360° members can ask for more information if you wish to explore behind the headlines or require some bespoke analysis.

1. Barnier warns UK that Article 50 is not the end of the road for Brexit. Much will remain to be negotiated and settled. Timing clarified
As reported last week Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator for the Brexit negotiations for the European Commission, held extensive discussions in Brussels with all key stakeholders, except the UK Government, who are excluded from the EU level discussions during the entire Article 50 process.

His priorities: safeguarding the four fundamental freedoms and the acquired rights of EU citizens in the UK, as well as UK citizens living in the EU, level playing field in competition, safeguarding the issue of the borders –Ireland and the UK, the issue of Gibraltar and the British military base in Cyprus, Britain’s financial engagements in research, Erasmus, agriculture, and the relocation of EU agencies in the UK ( the Medicines Agency and the Banking Authority) to other Member States.

His timeline: Assuming Article 50 is triggered in March 2017, the negotiations are to be completed by October 2018, leaving time for the European Parliament to complete the consent procedure in Spring 2019, just ahead of the Parliament’s elections in May/June of that year.

His warning: a new agreement covering trade, transport, energy, employment, etc. will only be possible once Britain has withdrawn from the EU. The vote on the Article 50 deal will not mark the end of the road for the Brexit negotiations, but mark a significant milestone. Much will remain to be negotiated and settled. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Chief Negotiator, endorsed Michel Barnier’s approach. The European Parliament will adopt a resolution in Spring 2017, which will contribute to the Commission’s negotiating guidelines. Contact us if you need help making a submission.

Two different views on the week in Brussels from Syed Kamall MEP, Leader of the ECR Group, and Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s spokesperson on AFCO.

2. Brexit News from Berlin – German Government completes Brexit preparations
Our sources from the German Foreign Ministry confirm they have finished preparations for different Brexit scenarios, and have the feeling the UK side is stalling and not picking up speed. They stress that for Germany one thing is clear: life outside the EU must be different than inside the EU, and different does not mean ‘better’. Contact us if you would like more news from Berlin.

3. Transitional Deal – growing support
One option emerging in Brussels as a possible solution to the ’cliff edge’ is a transitional deal, something UKTiE has been pushing for as a priority in our Brexit Plan: to allow the negotiations to commence on a new relationship post the UK leaving the EU, in a stable legal environment, at least for parts of the existing EU acquis. The possibility of allowing the UK to negotiate trade agreements during that transition is also being considered. Priorities sectors seem to be financial services, pharmaceuticals, chemicals & aerospace.

4. The future of the EU, including Brexit. Meeting with Dr. Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre
Dr. Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive of the European Policy Centre, will join us on Wednesday 7th December, 8.00 to 9.00am at our Brussels office, 40 Rue d’Arlon for a Business Breakfast meeting. Fabian is the Brexit advisor to Scotland’s First Minister. He will speak about the future of the EU, including Brexit. Last few places. Open to all. Let us know if you wish to attend.

5. Meet the people that will shape Brexit
Sign up for our series of Chatham House meetings with Brexit negotiators and those that influence them. UKTiE Brexit and UKTiE 360 Members only. Contact us if you are interested in UKTiE Brexit membership.

6. Top 10 most influential UK MEPs on Brexit
UK MEPs can participate in EU Brexit discussions but UK Government can’t. See Mark’s analysis of the Top Ten UK MEPs on Brexit. Interesting to note that none of them deal with transport.

Mark’s week:
‘Another tumultuous week in Brussels. There was a palpable sense of relief here in Brussels, following defeat of the populist candidate in Austria’s Presidential election, but that feeling immediately turned to dismay, as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after suffering a heavy defeat in a referendum over his plan to reform the constitution, plunging the EU into another crisis: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Brexit discussions got underway in Brussels last week, and will continue this week. In the run up to the European Parliament adopting a resolution in the spring. It’s vital you begin to engage in the process in order to ensure your issues are on the table. My ‘top ten’ is a handy list of the most influential UK MEPs on Brexit, and bearing in mind none of them deal with transport you may wish to speak to them soon. Let us know if we can help. And finally, don’t forget to join UKTiE Brexit or UKTiE 360 to ensure you are on the inside track when it comes to Brexit. If you join by the end of the year you will enjoy one month’s free membership. Let us know if you wish to join.

Have a good week!’

Best wishes,
Mark

Mark Watts
Co-ordinator
UK Transport in Europe

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