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The post-Brexit transition period “is not yet a fact” due to disagreements, according to the European negotiator

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – John Thys – | Michel Barnier speaks at a press conference on 29 January in Brussels

The European negotiator for the Brexit, Michel Barnier, warned on Friday that the period of transition after the departure of the United Kingdom claimed by London “is not yet a fact”, seeing the disagreements with the British government.

“The United Kingdom must accept all the rules and all obligations until the end of the transition,” a period during which it will continue in the single market and the Customs Union, Barnier told a news conference at the end of a round of negotiations.

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, proposed in September the launching of a transition period of about two years after leaving the United Kingdom, scheduled for March 29, 2019, to prepare the future relationship.

During that period, which for the EU should end on December 31, 2020, the British, in the opinion of Europeans, should comply with European rules but without the right to speak or vote on decisions.

Barnier, who met Monday in London with his British counterpart, Minister David Davis, and May, said he did not understand the “substantial” disagreements with the British, especially when it was “the United Kingdom itself that asked for a period of transition” .

The first of the three differences detailed by the European negotiator was the refusal of the United Kingdom to grant European citizens to settle on British soil after Brexit the same rights as those who arrived before 29 March 2019.

London also wants the right not to apply the new EU rules adopted during the transition period, if it considers it so, as well as to continue participating in some EU affairs in the area of ​​justice and internal affairs.

“Given the disagreements, the transition is not yet a fact,” summarized Barnier, for whom this is not a threat. “I hope we can resolve these disagreements in the next round,” he added, especially when the EU’s goal is to have the divorce agreement closed by October.

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