On January 1, 2021, after Brexit, there will also be an economic break with Great Britain. A partnership agreement should actually regulate the new economic relations. But it doesn’t look like it right now. All information about the Brexit process in the news ticker from FOCUS Online.
The referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU was now almost four years ago. After the formal Brexit, the transition phase will now begin, until at least the end of 2020. For the time being, Great Britain will remain in the internal market and in the customs union. Future relationships, especially the free trade agreement, must therefore still be negotiated between the EU and Great Britain.
Also read: Visa, residence, customs duties – what will change for EU citizens as a result of Brexit
EU starts proceedings against British changes to the Brexit Treaty
11.09 a.m .: In the Brexit dispute, the European Union is taking legal action against Great Britain for violating the EU Withdrawal Treaty. This was announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Thursday.
British Parliament votes for controversial Brexit changes
9:51 p.m .: Despite all warnings, the British House of Commons voted in favor of the controversial Single Market Act, with which Great Britain wants to undo parts of the already valid Brexit deal with the EU. With 340 to 256 votes, Prime Minister Boris Johnson passed the law through the London Parliament on Tuesday evening with a clear majority. Next, the law has yet to pass the House of Lords. The EU had previously condemned Johnson’s plans as a breach of trust and asked London to give in by the end of September.
However, the British government insists that the law will be used as a “safety net” in the event of a hard Brexit. Johnson had previously brought some deviants in his own ranks into line by assuring them further parliamentary control. Some Tories, including ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, had expressed criticism to the last. An amendment by the Labor Party to change the controversial passages of the law had been rejected on Tuesday.
Despite the conflict with the EU, the negotiating teams on both sides started the ninth and, for the time being, last planned round of negotiations on a trade pact in Brussels on Tuesday. Even though time is getting scarcer, negotiations are still stalling. In particular, the negotiators have not yet reached agreement on the rules governing fishing and government support for British companies. At the turn of the year, when the Brexit transition phase expires, there is a threat of a hard economic break with tariffs and other trade hurdles.
Johnson’s controversial law takes another hurdle in parliament
Tuesday, September 22nd, 9:16 p.m .: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial single market law has cleared another hurdle in the London Parliament. Johnson wants to use the law to partially nullify the current, laboriously negotiated Brexit deal with the EU. A majority of MPs agreed to a compromise between the prime minister and his critics, so that on Tuesday in London there was no more formal vote on their proposal.
A number of Conservative MPs who had previously spoken out against Johnson’s plans agreed to this. The head of government had previously taken a step towards the dissenters and had assured them a further vote in parliament in the event that the measures provided for in the law for an emergency should actually be used – in essence, what the rebels had asked for. After a vote in the coming week, the law has yet to pass the House of Lords.
Johnson wants to use the law to partially undo the already valid Brexit deal, which he himself signed. Specifically, it is about special rules for the British Northern Ireland, which are intended to prevent a hard border with the EU state Ireland and new hostilities there. For the EU, Johnson’s move is a breach of the law. Brussels therefore asked London to give in by the end of September.
Dispute over amendment law: Prime Minister Johnson threatens rebellion from within his own ranks
Monday, September 14, 11:52 a.m .: In the Brexit dispute, the support for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wants to nullify parts of the current divorce agreement with the EU with a new law, is increasingly crumbling. Former British ex-attorney general Geoffrey Cox accused Johnson of damaging Britain’s reputation. The planned introduction of the so-called Single Market Act was unreasonable, said the Tory MP, who was the UK government’s main legal advisor, to the Times newspaper on Monday.
According to Cox, there is “no doubt” that the “unpleasant” consequences of the Brexit agreement were already known when Johnson signed it. The Brexiteer announced that it would not support the draft law in parliamentary votes. Cox was attorney general in both Johnson’s tenure and his predecessor Theresa May.
With that, Cox joins about 30 MPs from the ruling Conservative Party, who media say are refusing to follow Johnson. Johnson has a majority of 80 votes in the House of Commons. Some former heads of government, most recently David Cameron on Monday, had already distanced themselves from Johnson.
With the Single Market Act, the Prime Minister wants to change the exit treaty agreed with the EU in 2019 in essential points. It is about special rules for the British Northern Ireland, which should prevent a hard border with the EU state Ireland and new hostilities there. The internal market law will be debated in parliament in the next few days. A first vote, which the British media interpreted as a barometer of sentiment, was planned for Monday evening.
For the EU, Johnson’s move is a breach of the law. Brussels therefore asked London to give in by the end of September. Critics fear that the planned law could be the fatal blow for the trade agreement that is supposed to regulate future economic relations. After the end of the Brexit transition phase, there is a risk of a hard break with tariffs and high trade barriers without a contract.
Federal Finance Minister Scholz urges London to adhere to the contract
10:59 a.m .: In the Brexit dispute, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has urged Great Britain to respect the contract. “Treaties have to be respected, everyone knows that,” said the SPD politician on Friday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Berlin.
Nevertheless, Scholz apparently sees further opportunities for a trade pact between the EU and London. He said: “My take on such discussions is: You have to go through this until the last moment, but you have to be very clear.”
The British government is planning a law that would partially nullify the current EU withdrawal treaty. The EU Commission has ultimately asked London to withdraw the plans, but they have already rejected them. Negotiations for a trade agreement from 2021 are stuck. The EU therefore wants to step up preparations for an economic break without a treaty.
The British plans would concern agreed special clauses for Northern Ireland, which should avoid a hard border with the EU state Ireland and preserve the peace on the island. The Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe emphasized that compliance with the already valid treaty was a “prerequisite” for any further agreement with Great Britain. The EU is still ready to come to an agreement.
London signs first major post-Brexit trade agreement with Tokyo
Friday, September 11th, 9:40 am: Great Britain has signed the first major free trade agreement with Japan after leaving the European Union. It is the UK’s first major trade agreement as an “independent trading nation,” said the UK Department of International Trade on Friday. The agreement is expected to increase trade with Japan by an estimated 15.2 billion pounds (16.5 billion euros).
British let EU accrue after ultimatum
Despite massive protests from Brussels, the British government wants to adhere to a controversial law that would undermine parts of the already valid Brexit agreement with the EU. After a crisis meeting, the British Minister of State Michael Gove said on Thursday in London that his government “will not and cannot” withdraw the planned internal market law.
EU Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic had previously asked Great Britain to stop the plans to change the Brexit agreement by the end of September at the latest. If the law comes into force in the form planned by London, it would be “an extremely serious violation of the Withdrawal Agreement and international law,” warned Sefcovic. The ongoing negotiations on a trade agreement would be jeopardized.
EU calls for the withdrawal of plans to amend the Brexit law by the end of the month
5.18pm: The EU has asked the UK government to withdraw its plans to amend the Brexit treaty. The project “seriously damaged” trust between the two sides, the EU Commission said on Thursday. London must withdraw the relevant measures “by the end of the month” at the latest. The authority pointed out that the EU would “not shy away” from taking legal action.
Surprisingly, the British government announced this week that it would unilaterally change the Brexit treaty that was passed in January. This involves the suspension of customs regulations in the trade in goods for the province of Northern Ireland and of requirements for state aid to British companies.
Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic then traveled to London on Thursday to ask for clarifications. There he met the British Secretary of State responsible for Cabinet Affairs, Michael Gove.
Johnson wants to present new law to change the Brexit deal on Wednesday
8:02 p.m .: A dispute over changes to the Brexit agreement is overshadowing the new round of negotiations between Brussels and London on relations after leaving the EU. The British government admitted on Tuesday that it wanted to bypass a deal in the Withdrawal Agreement affecting Northern Ireland, in violation of international law. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier reacted angrily to the announcement from Downing Street and stressed that London must keep the promises made.
The Northern Ireland issue has been one of the main points of contention between the British and the EU. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to submit a law to parliament on Wednesday, with which two core agreements with the EU on Northern Ireland are apparently to be undermined.
“Yes, that violates international law in a very specific and limited way,” said Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis on Tuesday in front of Parliament in London. However, there are “clear precedents” for such a step.
Prior to Lewis’ testimony, the media reported that the government’s chief counsel, Jonathan Jones, had quit his job, arguably out of anger over the Downing Street plans.
In addition to EU chief negotiator Barnier, who arrived in London on Tuesday for the new round of negotiations, EU Parliament President David Sassoli also warned the British government of changes to the Brexit agreement that was passed in January. “Any attempt to change the agreement would have serious consequences,” said Sassoli. “Trust and credibility” are crucial in the current negotiations on future EU-UK relations.
EU warns UK of “serious consequences”
5:57 p.m .: EU Parliament President David Sassoli has warned Great Britain of “serious consequences” if the government in London wants to undermine the EU exit treaty. “Trust and credibility are crucial,” said Sassoli on Tuesday after a meeting with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels.
The British Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis had previously confirmed legislative plans that would partially nullify the 2019 Brexit agreement. It concerns special rules for the British Northern Ireland. Sassoli stressed that the EU expects the UK to honor all of its commitments. “Any attempt by the UK to undermine the treaty would of course have serious consequences.”
The President of Parliament said he was “very, very concerned” about the current state of negotiations with London. It is about a commercial contract planned for 2021, which should regulate future economic relationships. Great Britain left the EU at the end of January, but is still a member of the EU internal market in a transition phase this year. The economic break came at the end of the year.
“I am very concerned about the lack of progress at this late stage,” said Sassoli. The EU respects the sovereignty of Great Britain, but also expects respect for its fundamental principles. Sassoli made it clear that she did not want a trade agreement “at any price”, but would continue to work constructively on a compromise.
British government admits: Planned changes to the Brexit deal would violate international law
3:14 p.m .: The UK government has admitted that any changes it plans to make to the Brexit agreement would violate international law. “Yes, it violates international law in a very specific and limited way,” said Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis on Tuesday before Parliament in London. He assessed the changes considered by the British government to the provisions on Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Treaty, which lays down the conditions for Great Britain’s exit from the EU on January 31, 2020.
Johnson wants to change the Brexit deal – now the next top official throws down
Tuesday, September 8th, 1:50 p.m .: In the dispute over Brexit, according to the media, the chief legal counsel of the British government, Jonathan Jones, has resigned. Jones was not in agreement with the planned changes to the already valid Brexit agreement, reported the “Financial Times” on Tuesday shortly before the start of a new round of negotiations between the EU and London.
A spokesman for the authorities confirmed Jones’ resignation, but did not give the reason for it. Several top government officials had already had their hats in the past few days.
According to the Telegraph, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling for major changes to the Brexit agreement that is already in force. It isolates Northern Ireland from Great Britain – this is how Johnson explains his move, according to the report, which could become the death knell for the planned trade pact with the European Union.
After Johnson threat: EU warns British government against breach of commitments
1.54 p.m .: There are massive tensions ahead of the new round of negotiations between the EU and Great Britain on post-Brexit relations: EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier expressed his anger on Monday at a British newspaper report that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accepted the commitments made with Brexit on the status of Wants to subvert Northern Ireland. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen called on London to keep their word. Johnson said his administration is prepared in the event the negotiations fail.
“Everything that has been signed must be respected,” said Barnier to the radio station France Inter. He was responding to a report in the Financial Times. Johnson then wants to overturn two core agreements with the EU on Northern Ireland with a new law.
On the one hand, there is state aid for companies in Northern Ireland, which according to the Withdrawal Agreement would continue to fall under EU rules in the future. According to the newspaper, Johnson wants to soften the obligation for the British government to inform Brussels about such aid funds.
In addition, it concerns requirements for Northern Irish companies when transporting goods to the United Kingdom. According to the agreement, the companies have to declare the consignments as exports. According to the “FT” report, Johnson no longer wants to comply with this obligation in full.
Johnson stressed, according to a statement released by his office, that if there is no agreement by mid-October, “then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us.” After the last lap in August, Barnier had also warned against failure.
Federal government demands more concession from Great Britain
Before the next round of negotiations on a Brexit follow-up agreement, the German government has called for greater concession from Great Britain. Great Britain must move above all on the subject of fishing and the agreement of a level playing field, the so-called level playing field, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday in Berlin. An agreement had to be reached “as soon as possible”. “We are convinced that this can be completed successfully,” said Seibert. However, the federal government is also preparing for the event that a deal does not materialize.
Boris Johnson EU threatens a hard break after the Brexit transition phase
Monday, September 7, 7:33 a.m .: Shortly before the next round of talks on a Brexit follow-up agreement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the EU to be more speedy and accommodating. An agreement had to be reached by mid-October so that such a deal could still be ratified. If there is no agreement by mid-October, “then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us,” said Johnson. Instead, London is relying on an agreement with the EU based on the Australian model.
So far, the EU has only one framework agreement with the fifth continent, which among other things affects technical hurdles. By and large, trade between Europe and Australia takes place on the basis of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Transferred to Great Britain that would be the dreaded no deal.
The British chief negotiator David Frost was even sharper in tone on Sunday: he was in complete agreement with Johnson that Great Britain had nothing to fear from a no-deal Brexit, he told the “Mail on Sunday”. “I don’t think we’re scared of that in any way,” Frost said in an interview.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier is expected in London on Tuesday. Great Britain left the EU at the end of January. In a transition phase until the end of the year, the country will still be part of the EU internal market and the customs union, so that almost nothing has changed in everyday life. If no contract on future relationships is successful, there could be a severe economic break with tariffs and other trade barriers in early 2021.
Boris Johnson’s late revenge on ex-speaker John Bercow
07:57 a.m .: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given his brother Jo a seat in the House of Lords. The former Minister of State is on a list of 36 nominations for a seat in the House of Lords, which the government in London published on Friday.
Among the 36 future lords is Philip May, husband of Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May. He is also made a knight for “political merit”. Not among the nominees, however, is the longtime Chairman of the House of Commons, John Bercow. He is the first “speaker” in more than two centuries who does not receive this honor.
Supporters of the UK’s exit from the EU accuse Bercow of deliberately delaying ratification of the exit agreement. A 2018 report also accused him of presiding over a parliamentary culture in which “bullying, harassment and sexual harassment” flourished. He denied the allegations.
Opposition politicians sharply criticized the government’s nomination list. Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart accused Premier Johnson of “the worst kind of nepotism”. He has provided “friends and those who have done him favors” with jobs for life.
The House of Lords will now have more than 800 members. House of Lords spokesman Peter Fowler called the list a “missed opportunity”. He had recommended reducing his chamber to a maximum of 600 members. The dignitaries can resign or retire, but otherwise keep their posts for life.
Barnier: Trade deal with Great Britain currently unlikely
July 23, 1:37 p.m .: EU negotiator Michel Barnier believes that a trade agreement with Great Britain is currently unlikely. This is what Barnier said on Thursday after the most recent Brexit negotiations on both sides in London. The EU representative justified this with the British refusal to accept clauses for fair competition and a balanced fisheries agreement. The European Union will nevertheless continue to try to reach an agreement.
Like Barnier, British negotiator David Frost noted that there had been little decisive progress in the most recent round of negotiations in London. Unfortunately, it is clear that in July there will be no more understanding on the principles of an agreement.
Barnier spoke of some constructive discussions. But there is “no progress at all” on the two most important points for the EU: namely the same competitive conditions – the so-called level playing field – and in fishing. Frost also highlighted these two points. The EU’s positions are incompatible with the UK’s role as an independent country. “
Great Britain left the EU at the end of January, but will still be part of the EU internal market and the customs union until the end of the year. Then, without a follow-up regulation, there is a risk of a hard economic break with tariffs and trade barriers. A deadline to extend this transition period was left unused in London at the end of June.
“If we do not reach an agreement on our future partnership, there will be even more friction, “warned Barnier on Thursday. He went on to say:” We will not accept paying the bills for British political decisions. “
The negotiations on the agreement have been going in circles for months. The EU offers a comprehensive trade agreement that would allow the UK to export its goods to the internal market without tariffs and quantitative limits. In return, the EU demands the same high environmental and social standards in order to avoid distortions of competition. However, the UK does not want to accept such guidelines.