“Instructions” for Britain

27 EU countries set conditions for a transition period after Brexit

Twenty seven EU ministers have adopted draft directives for negotiations on a Brexit transition period following a discussion lasting less than two minutes, Politico reports. The publication says that these directives are EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s instructions for the next part of the Brexit talks. Under the instructions, the transition will last 21 months up to December 31, 2020. Euronews quotes Barnier as saying that all the laws will still be applied to the UK. This also applies to the new rules which will remain in force during this period. The reason is simple. The UK will stay back in the single market, and will take part in the customs union and in all the policies of the Union. But the UK will no longer be a member of EU institutions and will not participate in decision-making, but it may be invited to meetings as an observer in exceptional cases. The goal of the transition period is to minimize Brexit losses. Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is planned for March 2019.