Here’s a summary of the 15 page document agreed by the UK and EU that has come out this morning:
Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
- The rights of EU citizens will be expressly included into UK law, under the Withdrawal Bill; and UK citizens rights will be similarly included in EU Articles. On particular concern was healthcare for UK citizens living in the EU, and the EHIC card has been agreed to continue for these residents.
- To allow consistent application of rights, both the UK and the EU will have regular information exchange; and both will be able to intervene in the cases before each other’s courts.
- UK Courts will be sovereign, but will have “due regard” to the decisions of the EU Court. UK Courts will be able to ask the EU Court questions of interpretation of EU citizens rights, to enable the UK Court to give a judgement of a case before it.
Nothing in this agreement will predetermine the outcome of the next stage of discussions about trade. The commitments agreed will be upheld irrespective of any future agreement between the EU and the UK.
There is an absolute guarantee of avoiding a “hard border”.
The UK’s intention is to achieve this outcome through the future discussions about trade. However, if this is not possible, the UK will propose specific solutions to address the issue of the border on the island of Ireland. Without agreed solutions, the UK will maintain the rules of the Single Market and Customs Union which are currently in the Northern Irish Agreement.
Without an agreed solution, the UK will ensure no new regulatory barriers are erected between the Northern Irish economy and the UK. Northern Irish businesses will still have the same unfettered access to the UK as they currently have.
The Financial Settlement
Until the end of 2020, the UK’s budget contributions will be identical to the contributions that they would have paid if the UK had not left the EU. In addition, the UK will get back its rebate, as if it had not left. The money will be paid in Euro.
The UK will remain liable for decisions taken by the EU before the end of December 2020, and that will be balanced by the UK have a share of corresponding assets. Liabilities and assets will be demanded or shared as they become due, including for instance the assets of the ECSC and the European Investment Fund.
The UK is interested in continuing an involvement in the EU space programme, and these assets are not part of the financial settlement. Similarly, the UK may wish to participate in other EU programmes after 2020.
The UK will get back its paid-in capital of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in twelve annual instalments, starting from 2019. Again, the UK may want a continuing arrangement with the EIB.
The UK has offered to discuss withdrawal costs of EU agencies located in London.
Both parties have agreed:
- separation principles with regard to Euratom.
- the need to provide legal certainty on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.