European Interest

EU sends draft Brexit treaty to London

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Irish-UK border.

An updated draft text of the treaty that will regulate Britain’s exit from the European Union in 2019 was published by the European Commission on March 15.

The text, which includes both the terms of the divorce as well as of the two-year transition period that is to follow, was sent to London for further negotiations.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, one EU official said the updated text contained legal clarifications, but no major or meaningful changes compared to the text published at the end of February.

European Union leaders will discuss progress in negotiations on the withdrawal treaty with Britain at a summit on March 23 and are to approve guidelines for the Commission on negotiations about a future relationship, after the transition period ends.

One of the key sticking points in the draft treaty is how to avoid establishing a physical border between the Republic of Ireland and the British region of Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Another unresolved issue concerns the rights of citizens arriving in Britain after 29 March 2019 but before the end of the transition period which is set at 31 December 2020.

According to Reuters, the EU wants all such arrivals and their families to get the same rights as those who were in Britain before Brexit. London is willing to grant such rights to EU citizens, but not their families.

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