The UK and the EU have reached a draft agreement on the first phase of Brexit talks. It was a long night. The Prime Minister Theresa May has been appearing alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels to announce that enough progress has been made on priority issues to move the negotiations forward.
“Time for @theresa_may critics to recognize her extraordinary strength & resilience which, whatever the hurdles ahead, will deliver stage 2 just as it has delivered stage 1”, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote on Twitter. The officials have reached a deal on three key areas: the financial settlement over the UK's departure from the EU, border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic and the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in EU countries.
Theresa May and Jean Claude Juncker
The next step ? “It will now be for Member States to appraise the results of the negotiations, and for the European Council on 15 December 2017 to decide whether it agrees that “sufficient progress” has been achieved,” the statement said. The transition interval was also defined: “the European Council notes the proposal put forward by the United Kingdom for a transition period of around two years, and agrees to negotiate a transition period covering the whole of the EU acquis, while the United Kingdom, as a third country, will no longer participate in or nominate or elect members of the EU institutions.”