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08 Sep 2017

EC and EP publish new papers on Brexit

In the context of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the European Commission set out its principles for the political dialogue on Ireland and Northern Ireland in a paper released on 7 September 2017. The EC states that the Good Friday Agreement should continue to be protected and strengthened in all its parts after the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. The continuation of the Common Travel Area, which facilitates the interaction of people in Ireland and the UK, should also be recognised. The paper builds on the European Council guidelines, agreed by the 27 Heads of State or Government on 29 April 2017, and the Council's negotiating directives of 22 May 2017 – both texts acknowledging the "unique circumstances on the island of Ireland" and the need to find "flexible and imaginative solutions", which respect the integrity of the European Union's legal order.

On the same day, the European Parliament (EP) also released a paper relating to Brexit, namely a joint statement by EP President Antonio Tajani and the EP's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt. Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (COP) debated the current state of play of Brexit talks and a possible delay of phase two of the negotiations, due to what was perceived as a "continued lack of clarity or absence of UK proposals on separation issues as well as the latest developments in Brexit negotiations". According to the EP, it was more than likely the assessment of “sufficient progress” on the first phase of Brexit negotiations is unlikely to have been met by the October 2017 European Council.

The COP decided that the EP will adopt a resolution in October which will primarily focus on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, post-Brexit - an issue also of particular importance for the scientific community. The resolution will also outline the European Parliament’s priorities with regard to Ireland/Northern Ireland and assess the situation on the financial settlement. It will state whether, according to the EP, sufficient progress has been reached on the three separation issues, which is a prerequisite for talks to progress to the second phase of negotiations. 

For more information:

EC - press release

EP - press release

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