Sabine Weyand is the European Commission’s Deputy Chief Negotiator for Brexit. Ms Weyand has spent more than two decades working in the European Commission and has previously played key roles in the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States and the successful Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiations with Canada.
White Paper (Future Relationship between the UK and the EU)
On 12 July 2018, the UK government published a 98-page White Paper outlining its proposals for the future relationship between the UK and the EU after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. The White Paper covers areas such as the future EU-UK economic relationship, a future EU-UK security partnership and the governance of future EU-UK arrangements. It proposes the establishment of a new free trade area for goods (but not services) and a Facilitated Customs Arrangement that would see the UK adopt the EU’s customs rules at its external border. European Movement Ireland has published an ‘explainer’ on the UK White Paper on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU.
White Paper (Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU)
On 24 July 2018, the UK government published a White Paper outlining its plans for the legislation of the Withdrawal Bill once a final agreement has been reached, covering citizens’ rights, the implementation period and the negotiated financial settlement. It also sets out the procedure for approval and implementation of a final Withdrawal Agreement and framework for a future EU-UK relationship. European Movement Ireland has published an ‘explainer’ on the UK White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.
A withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU must be agreed and ratified by both the EU and UK by 29 March 2019. The purpose of the Withdrawal Agreement is to disentangle the existing EU-UK relationship and provide for an ‘orderly withdrawal’ of the UK from the EU. On 28 February 2018, the European Commission published the draft Withdrawal Agreement based on joint commitments reached between the EU and UK in the first phase of negotiations. On 19 March 2018, an updated draft version was published, highlighting areas in different colours to distinguish between points that were agreed and disagreed upon by the EU and UK. The EU and UK aim to finalise the entire Withdrawal Agreement by October 2018, so that this can be ratified by both sides in time for the deadline of 29 March 2019.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements as well as a dispute resolution process. The dispute resolution process is aimed at ensuring trading countries’ compliance with WTO agreements, which are negotiated and signed by those countries. In the potential scenario of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK and the EU could revert to trading with each other under WTO rules. Trade between Ireland and the UK under WTO rules could mean that some agri-food products would face