UK and EU strike Brexit transition deal

The UK has reached a joint legal agreement with the European Union on the legal terms of a Brexit transition deal, a ...

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 12:58 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 12:58 PM

The UK has reached a joint legal agreement with the European Union on the legal terms of a Brexit transition deal, a milestone development in the tortured negotiations to extricate Britain from the bloc.

Under the terms, the UK will be able to negotiate trade deals with other countries during the 21-month transition, which begins when Britain officially leaves the EU at the end of March 2019.

But in order to secure the deal -- which gives a degree of certainty for businesses -- the UK was forced to make concessions, including on the rights of EU citizens who arrive during the transition period. London also had to accept a "backstop" deal to avoid a "hard" Irish border that would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU law.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels on Monday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said agreement on the draft legal text for withdrawal was a "decisive step" towards Brexit.

He said the text, to be presented to EU heads of government on Friday, will be "the international agreement for an ordered withdrawal of the UK from the EU."

The announcement came after "intense" negotiations between technical and legal experts from both sides over the past few days, Barnier said.

Speaking alongside the UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis, Barnier said: "What we are presenting today is a joint legal text, which to my mind constitutes a decisive step."

Davis added that "a good deal for the UK and the European Union is closer than ever before."

Trade deals

The provisional accord, which is not yet set in stone, includes the terms for a 21-month transition period after Brexit, which is scheduled to happen on March 29, 2019, to allow business to adjust.

In what could be seen as a big win for the UK, the draft agreement confirms that the UK may sign trade deals with other nations, as long as they don't come into force until the end of the transition period.

Sterling jumped against the euro on the news as the markets cheered the announcement.

Irish sticking point

One sticking point that could unravel the agreement is the issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland, which is, and will remain a part of the EU and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.

"We must have a workable and practical solution to avoid a hard border and protect north south cooperation," Barnier said.

Barnier said the UK has agreed in principle to the EU's "backstop" plan for the status of the Irish border, under which Northern Ireland would

remain part of the EU's customs union if there is no better idea to maintain the seamless flow of goods and people across the border.

The EU is concerned a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland, believing it could jeopardize the 1998 peace accord that ended decades of sectarian violence in the UK province.

"We agreed today that the backstop solution must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal agreement," Barnier said.

The remaining 27 EU countries insist that the must agree to terms on Northern Ireland before it will sign off on the final version of the divorce agreement and move on to future trade agreements between the UK and the EU, its largest trading partner.

Barnier will this week discuss the agreement with EU foreign ministers, the European Commission and on Friday, EU heads of government, apart from UK Prime MInister Theresa May who is not invited.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 35°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 42°
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 35°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 35°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 21°
Drying out and warming up
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events