EC provides update on state-of-play of Brexit negotiations
Michel Barnier, the European Commission's chief negotiator for the Brexit negotiations with the UK, held a press conference on 12 July 2017, outlining the state-of-play of the Brexit negotiations so far.
The first phase of the negotiations deals with citizens' rights, the single financial settlement, the new borders, in particular in Ireland, and other separation issues, such as Euratom and the treatment of goods placed on the market before Brexit day. Mr. Barnier emphasised that the EU had published nine position papers on these issues so far and called on the UK to clarify its position, in order to make progress in the negotiations, as time was short.
The EC has also published a fact sheet on the Brexit negotiations, detailing the individual steps of the process so far, the issues dealt with, as well as the time schedule for the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament (EP) has voiced its concern about the UK offer on EU citizens' rights in the context of the Brexit negotiations. In a debate organised by the Constitutional Affairs Committee on 12 July 2017, Parliament’s chief Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) criticised the UK government for not ending the uncertainty created for EU citizens living in the UK since last year’s referendum. He criticised the British government's recent offer on this issue, saying that the proposal risked downgrading the rights of EU citizens and creating a lot of administrative burden. Mr Verhofstadt also called for more clarity on how to resolve the financial settlement between the UK and the EU, and elaborated on the concerns regarding the UK-Irish border question and future EU-UK cooperation within the field of nuclear activities (Euratom).