Brexit and tribalism

27th November 2017

This is a tweet in response to yesterday’s post here at Jack of Kent.

The post yesterday was critical of a tweet heavily RTd by influential Leavers.

The post also warned Remainers that the UK will leave the EU by automatic operation of law on 29 March 2019, unless something exceptional happens – and that re-fighting the 2016 referendum would not directly lead to Brexit being revoked.

But @RemainerAction saw this as “crossing to the other side”.

*

In fact, I was never on the Remain “side” to begin with, at least not in principle.

I have no objection to Brexit in principle – my blogging is usually about the problems about how it is (not) being done in practice and the madness of the Article 50 process.

(That said, I admire the Single Market and the “four freedoms”.)

The reason I have so far focused on Leave daftness and lack of realism is because it is evident in (indeed, demonstrated by) news events every day.

But Leave do not have a monopoly in their lack of realism.

Some Remainers seem to think that the Article 50 process, once triggered, can be ended lightly.

Just a matter of politics; just a quick fix; just some tinkering; it will all be alright in the end.

And there is some force to this: if the politics of Brexit change, then the legal process can be ended (or paused).

If a lever is pulled then the conveyor belt to the big industrial jagged saw will jolt and then halt.

But the politics takes place in a framework of hard law: and the hard law is that, under the EU treaty, the UK departs the EU on 29 March 2019 (unless something exceptional happens).

The politics of Brexit are subject to that deep legal truth.

But some Remainers are as blinkered as the hardest hard-Brexit Leavers.

Every challenge to Brexit must be cheered, however ludicrous.

*

Partisanship on Brexit is not just a feature of Leave supporters.

Brexit will not be easy; but reversing Brexit, since the Article 50 notification has been sent, will also not now be easy.

There is an old famous observation that the first battles of each war are lost when generals re-fight the battles of the war before.

The battle to reverse Brexit may also be lost because Remainers (and others opposed to the government’s policy on Brexit) are re-fighting the referendum.

Brexit can only be stopped (if at all) if:

(a) the UK government formally asks the European Council that the Article 50 notification be revoked; and

(b) the European Council accepts this revocation (or, if the revocation is not accepted, the revocation is upheld by the European Court of Justice).

Unless a political or legal action leads directly to this outcome then it will not make the difference.  Brexit will still go ahead.

And pointing this out is not to “cross to the other side”.

It is instead to be looking ahead.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

A false hope for Remainers

26th November 2017

Since the referendum result there has been a lack of realism about Brexit by the UK government and many Leavers.

The current difficulty about the Irish border are one of many examples.

But lack of realism is not a monopoly of those wanting the UK to depart the EU.

There is wishful thinking – indeed, magical thinking – by those who want the UK to remain in the EU, or at least by those who want to have a Brexit significantly “softer” than that which is currently likely to happen.

The (grim or glorious) truth is that the UK will be leaving the EU by automatic operation of law on 29 March 2019, unless something exceptional happens to change that legal position.

On the face of Article 50, the departure date can only be changed in two ways.

First, the date can be changed to a later (or even earlier) date if that is part of the overall Brexit agreement.

Second, the date can be postponed with the unanimous consent of the UK and EU27.

There is nothing express in Article 50 about the Article 50 notification being capable of revocation (and there is no judicial decision on the point) – though many commentators agree that a revocation sent in good faith is likely to be accepted by the European Council and, if litigated, upheld by the European Court of Justice.

But unless the date is altered in accordance with one of the two ways set out in Article 50, or unless there is a revocation which is agreed either by the European Council or the European Court of Justice, then the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

The implication of this is that there is nothing the UK can now do – directly – to stop or even pause the process.

What power the UK had went with the Article 50 notification.

The most the UK government can do now, if it wanted to pause or halt the process, is to ask the European Council (and, if refused, the European Court of Justice) and hope.

There is nothing which any organ of the UK state – the government, the courts or parliament (still less the devolved administrations) – can do to directly stop the clock.

The clock is now outside the UK’s reach.

The best that could be done is for the UK to ask the EU one way or another to stop the clock.

A false hope

This futile position has not prevented those opposed to Brexit (or the government’s policy on Brexit) from seeking alternative ways to end or slow down the process.

One example was the reaction to this tweet yesterday, which was heavily RTd by influential Remainers on Twitter.

The piece it links to is here and it is titled:

Exclusive: Brexit Referendum ‘May Need to Be Redone’

The words in quotation marks are a little odd, as they do not appear in the text.

The piece does say “that UK intelligence is minded to recommend to Theresa May’s government that the Brexit vote be redone, as it is not thought that the vote was ‘free and fair’”.

A mere recommendation is less compelling than a necessity, so the title does not even match the text.

But the overall impression the title and the piece gives is that there would be a requirement – a “need” – for there to be a repeat referendum if the “sources” are correct in this information.

At this point I should say that I happen to know and like Louise Mensch and so nothing in this post should be taken as personal hostility to her.  I do not know about, or even understand, most of what she now tweets about regarding US politics and Russia.

But I do happen to know a little about the law relating to the Brexit referendum.

And this means I can say that the contention of that piece is legal twaddle.

Even if those “sources” were correct there would be no legal necessity for there to be a repeat referendum.

The 2016 referendum was advisory.

There are no laws in place for there to be a repeat referendum, or even to invalidate the result of the original referendum.

A repeat referendum would require brand new primary legislation – and that would have to be passed by parliament.

It is not a matter for Theresa May or the government.

They cannot strike down the result of the referendum even if they wanted to, regardless of the supposed recommendations of security advisers.

There would be no “need” for a repeat referendum.

The heavily RTd piece does not provide a basis for it being a necessity, and there is no legal mechanism currently in place for a repeat referendum.

The article just gives false hope to those opposed to the UK government on Brexit.

This is not to say that the “sources” are incorrect on Russian money and influence – I have no idea, though it seems implausible.

But even if those sources are correct, the referendum result will still stand.

And the referendum result no longer matters.

Parliament voted to give the prime minister power to make the Article 50 notification with a dedicated Act of Parliament.

The prime minister sent the notification under Article 50 on 29 March 2017.

(Though there is another strand of wishful/magical thinking that asserts that the notification was somehow not legally valid – a sort of 2017 version of the warming-pan theory.  Even if there was anything to this claim it is hopelessly out of time, as well as contrary to what the Supreme Court said in Miller: “Parliament may decide to content itself with a very brief statute” etc (para 122). )

The Article 50 process has started.

The clock is ticking.

Impugning the referendum result makes no direct difference, legal or otherwise.

Reality and Remainers

The UK government’s Brexit policy keeps smashing into the walls of reality.

Much of what Leave said about the ease with which Brexit could be done, or the ease with which the UK could enter into new trade deals, and about many other things, were unrealistic.

But lack of realism is not just a fault of those on the other side of a debate.

Unless the Article 50 clock is formally stopped or paused, Brexit is coming and it will happen (all other things being equal) on 29 March 2019.

The only way the clock can be stopped or paused (or the deadline delayed) is if the UK government asks the EU to do so, and the EU agrees (either the European Council or, if not, the European Court of Justice)

That should be the focus of Remainers and others opposed to the government’s misconceived policy on Brexit.

Attacking the legitimacy of the referendum may perhaps have a indirect political effect – which may lead to the government making the desired request.

That, however, is still indirect.

The referendum could perhaps be discredited absolutely, and it still would not make any direct legal difference.

All this said, Brexit is not inevitable – it could be stopped or delayed, if the UK and EU wanted this.

But if you are a Remainer or someone also opposed to the government’s policy on Brexit then do not get your hopes up on the back of the basis of tweets like the one discussed above.

Stopping Brexit will take a lot more than that, if it can be stopped at all.

 

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

 

Brexit Diary: A “reality check” for Remainers

21st November 2017

The UK government is encountering problem after problem with Brexit.

There is a real prospect either of there being “no deal” or of a capitulation to the EU’s demands.

In terms of administration – basic points such as customs and border control – the UK state is nowhere near ready.

But the accumulation of these difficulties does not make Brexit any less likely.

Unless something exceptional happens, the UK will leave the EU by automatic operation of law on 29 March 2019.

Very little can prevent this.

There is a possibility that the date may be delayed, though this would require EU agreement in one way or another.

There is also perhaps the possibility that the Article 50 process could be suspended or even cancelled, though Article 50 is silent on how this could be done.

But even these options would require political action as deliberate and formal as the Article 50 notification in the first place.

These options would not happen just because of the weight of the UK government’s difficulties.

The problems are legally irrelevant.

A hard firm legal process has commenced: it cannot now be easily derailed.

And there is no political prospect – at the moment – of the UK government seeking to change the course of departure: there is no general election due, the Tories and DUP have a majority in the Commons, and the Labour front bench nod-along with Brexit in principle, if not in some details.

For the Article 50 process to be stopped or even paused requires the UK government to make a decision it seems (currently) unlikely to make before 29 March 2019.

There is no obvious way the difficulties of Brexit can be converted to formal political preventative action: no glidepath, no way of joining the dots.

This is not to say that the difficulties are not immense: the Irish border issue is only one of many which seem impossible to resolve.

And it is not to say Brexit is inevitable: it could be prevented if the UK government or parliament wanted to do so, and the EU agreed (either the European Council or, if litigated, the European Court of Justice).

But automatic departure is the fixed default position.

Brace, brace.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

 

 

The uncertainty of Brexit

20th November 2017

A lot has happened on Brexit in recent weeks and this post sets out what some general views as to where we are now in this adventure (or misadventure, depending on taste).

There is one thing which is more likely than not: the United Kingdom will, by automatic operation of law, cease to be a member of the European Union on 29 March 2019.

This is regardless of there being a deal or not.

The departure date could be later (or even earlier) but only by agreement and there is not a plausible prospect of such a change.

Those who want Article 50 notification revoked are probably correct in saying that if UK sought to revoke the notification (in good faith rather than as a negotiating ploy so as to re-set the clock) then it would probably be accepted.

But such a prospect is not obvious as of today.  It is not wishful thinking to say the notification can be revoked as a matter of law; but I fear it is wishful thinking to believe that it will be.

Little else is more likely than not.

The UK may not even have the necessary legislation in place in time.

The UK and EU may not have an exit deal in time.

The issue of the Irish border does not have any obvious solution.

The UK does not have a settled view on what trade relationship it will have with the EU after Brexit, though it is plain that a Canada-style Free Trade Agreement is the most likely outcome, regardless of what the UK says it wants.

The causes of all this uncertainty and lack of direction have been rehearsed many times.

But this does not make what will happen any the more obvious.

What will happen on, and after, the day of departure is still anyone’s guess.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

Brexit Diary: What does Donald Tusk mean by “realism”?

26th September 2017

Today Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, came to London.

After the meeting, Tusk’s remarks were:

I feel cautiously optimistic about the constructive and more realistic tone of the Prime Minister’s speech in Florence and of our discussion today.

This shows that the philosophy of “having a cake and eating it” is finally coming to an end, or at least I hope so.

And that’s good news.

But of course no-one will ever tell me that Brexit is a good thing because, as I have always said, in fact Brexit is only about damage control, and I didn’t change my opinion.

As you know, we will discuss our future relations with the United Kingdom once there is so-called “sufficient progress”.

The two sides are working hard at it. But if you asked me and if today Member States asked me, I would say there is no “sufficient progress” yet. But we will work on it.

And this was his tweet:-

The most significant thing, of course, is that the “sufficient progress” requirement has not been met.  This means the future relationship will not be discussed in the next (October) negotiation round at least.

But this is not the first time Tusk has talked about Brexit and realism.

This is from last September, in the months after the referendum vote:

More importantly, this is from when Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech expressly affirmed that the UK would be leaving the Single Market and Customs Union:

So the UK was becoming more “realistic” in January, and again is becoming more “realistic” now.

Over time, the speech of Tusk last October becomes more significant.  I have referred to it in my FT piece today (on transition arrangements).  It is worth (re-)reading regularly as Brexit continues.

In that speech, this passage in particular sticks in the mind as what Tusk means by “real” when he calls thing “realistic” (emphasis added):

The brutal truth is that Brexit will be a loss for all of us.

There will be no cakes on the table. For anyone. There will be only salt and vinegar.

If you ask me if there is any alternative to this bad scenario, I would like to tell you that yes, there is.

And I think it is useless to speculate about “soft Brexit” because of all the reasons I’ve mentioned.

These would be purely theoretical speculations.

In my opinion, the only real alternative to a “hard Brexit” is “no Brexit”.

Even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility.

We will conduct the negotiations in good faith, defend the interests of the EU 27, minimise the costs and seek the best possible deal for all.

But as I have said before, I am afraid that no such outcome exists that will benefit either side.

Of course it is and can only be for the UK to assess the outcome of the negotiations and determine if Brexit is really in their interest.

Paraphrasing Hannah Arendt’s words: “a full understanding of all the consequences of the political process is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history”. 

In other words, Tusk believes the UK becomes more “realistic” the closer it comes to accepting that the only “real” alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

 

Brexit Diary: Michel Barnier’s significant comments today on a possible transition period

25th September 2017

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit has today made some significant comments on the transtion period asked for (begged for) by Theresa May in her Florence speech.

You can watch him make the comments (with English translation) here.

The comments were as follows (emphasis added):

“Ladies and gentlemen,

“First of all, a word of thanks to the Estonian Presidency and to Matti Maasikas, and to the whole team in the Embassy, and to all the Ministers doing a tremendous job – in particular in my area – in a spirit of trust and reciprocity that I would like to commend.

“In her speech in Florence, Theresa May expressed a constructive spirit, which is also ours, as the Ministers unanimously confirmed today in the Council.

“What matters now – during this limited time, when every day we are getting closer to the 29 March 2019: the day the UK will become a third country, as was its wish and demand – is that the UK government translates Mrs. May’s statements into clear negotiating positions.

“And that we discuss in detail these positions around the negotiating table.
We are therefore at a moment of clarity, particularly regarding citizens’ rights and the financial settlement. And we need to advance on finding a unique solution for Ireland. On all of these subjects, and on a few others, this is the moment of clarity.

“Since Friday, the 27 Member States have reaffirmed their unity. This was once again confirmed in the discussions in the Council today.

“And this unity is shared also by the political groups I met this morning in the European Parliament– as I do almost every week.

“A word now on the new, key element raised in Theresa May’s speech: The United Kingdom requested for the first time a transition period for a limited amount of time beyond its withdrawal from the European Union and its institutions.

This is currently not part of my mandate, but I would like to insist on a few conditions that the European Council has already set out. Allow me to refer you to the European Council guidelines, which must be read regularly – as I often do.

“1. The Union also must decide if such a period is in its interest.

“2. Any transition must respect the legal and financial framework of the Single Market. To quote the European Council: “Should a time-limited prolongation of Union acquis be considered, this would require existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures to apply.” Those are the words of the European Council. I think that everybody should remember them.

“3. Finally, discussions on a transition – which will now take place since the UK has requested it –do not absolve us from the necessity of making “sufficient progress.” Progress on our three key issues remains more than ever necessary in order to build the trust needed to begin discussing our future relationship.

“A final point, which is also important, is that we do not mix up the discussion on liabilities and commitments from the past – which are the subjects that make up the orderly withdrawal – with a discussion on the future relationship.

“The fourth round of negotiations this week should allow us to advance on each of these key points and to get the clarity that is needed to make progress.”

There is nothing that new here, of course.  All these points are obvious if you have had regard to the EU’s approach to the Brexit negotiations.

But it is important to note that Barnier does not see the issue of transition as part of his current mandate, and that he emphasises that it is a matter for the EU to decide whether it would be in its own interest.

All because the UK is asking for a transition period does not mean the EU will grant it, and it is not up to Barnier anyway.

His quotation of the guidelines is crucial: that is the EU position on transition. The UK may not like it, but unless the European Council amends the guidelines then that is the only basis on which a withdrawal agreement can be done by the EU.

And the requirement of “sufficient progress” remains, and it remains unmet.

 

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

Brexit diary – After Florence

25th September 2017

So Theresa May’s Florence speech has come and gone.

What should we make of it?

In respect of the Brexit negotiations, the speech has made little difference.  The position before the Florence speech is more-or-less the position today.  The only concrete proposal, that of a security treaty, was welcome but not directly relevant to the current negotiations.

That said, the speech has not made anything worse in respect of the Brexit negotiations.  It was “cautiously welcomed” by EU leaders who all then added that particular details were needed.

As such, it would not be fair to call the speech a failure; it was more that it was not really anything at all.

And in respect of May keeping the current cabinet together, the speech was a success.  The cabinet stagggers on for another few days, perhaps weeks.

But if the speech was not in itself a failure, the speech was about failure.

The request – which may or may not be granted by EU27 – for a two year transition on current terms is an implicit admission of the UK government’s failure to date on Brexit.

The silence in the speech on what ultimate relationship the UK is to have with the EU after Brexit is an implicit admission that the government does not know (or cannot agree) on what that ultimate relationship should be.

A year ago, in Birmingham in her conference speech, May said (emphasis added):

“There was a good reason why I said – immediately after the referendum – that we should not invoke Article Fifty before the end of this year. That decision means we have the time to develop our negotiating strategy and avoid setting the clock ticking until our objectives are clear and agreed. And it has also meant that we have given some certainty to businesses and investors. Consumer confidence has remained steady. Foreign investment in Britain has continued. Employment is at a record high, and wages are on the up. There is still some uncertainty, but the sky has not fallen in, as some predicted it would: our economy remains strong.

“So it was right to wait before triggering Article Fifty. But it is also right that we should not let things drag on too long. Having voted to leave, I know that the public will soon expect to see, on the horizon, the point at which Britain does formally leave the European Union. So let me be absolutely clear. There will be no unnecessary delays in invoking Article Fifty. We will invoke it when we are ready. And we will be ready soon. We will invoke Article Fifty no later than the end of March next year.”

The words in bold were said six months before the notification was made.

Perhaps six months seemed a long enough time, a fair enough and plausible deadline.

But the words in bold turned out not to be true.

The UK was not ready in March 2017.

The UK had not developed a negotiating strategy.

The UK’s objectives were not clear and agreed.

But May set the clock ticking anyway.

And now the prime minister is reduced to booking a room in Florence, without a view and at taxpayers expense, to beg EU leaders, who were invited but did not attend, for a two year extension because May had made the Article 50 notification before she was ready.

The speech might have gone worse: the Brexit negotiations are still continuing and the cabinet is still intact.

But is a speech which should never have had to have been made.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

Brexit diary – the “process” phase is now firmly in place

13th September 2017

With the Withdrawal Bill passing the “second reading” vote (see my FT post here) and the Brexit negotiation talks now passed their third round, Brexit is now firmly in (what can be called) its “process” phase.

Until the second reading vote, it was open to the UK government to start again with a Bill with less wide-ranging scope.  But now the government is committed to this approach.

I plan to write later today at the FT on the significance of Brexit now being a process thing, with all the preliminary manoeuvers  (or lack of manoevres) out of the way.

If you want to follow both the Brexit negotiations and the Withdrawal Bill aspects of the process, do have a look at my (updated) resource page on the negotiations and my guide to the withdrawal bill.

*

And finally

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

Brexit: How to follow the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – a practical guide and introduction

12th September 2017

Last night the House of Commons voted on the “second reading” on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.  This is a general vote on the principle of the legislation.

MPs voted in favour of the Bill, and it now will be considered in committee where the clauses will be examined and amendments considered.

You can follow the Bill as follows.

First: you should look at (and perhaps even bookmark) this page on the parliament site.  This will show the progress of the Bill and will link to parliamentary materials.

Then: read the Bill – it is a short Bill, with only 19 clauses in its initial (vanilla) form (here).  It is worth reading these 19 clauses.  You will then see what much of the fuss is about.

The schedules (lawyers usually say it with a “sh” when talking about legal instruments) are more substantial, but the effect of the schedules is provided for by the operative clauses.  The schedules “hang below” the relevant clauses, so to speak.  One key schedule is Schedule 7, which provides (supposed) safeguards on the proposed wide discretionary law-making powers for ministers.

You can then look at the Explanatory Notes (here).  These are not part of the Bill but are a guide to what is intended by the government by each clause.  Only a mad person reads these like a novel from beginning to end. Instead, focus on a clause or a schedule and cross refer, as necessary.  In other words, treat explanatory notes like a series of footnotes.

(Some may say that the less clear a Bill the longer the Explanatory Notes, and that clear legislation should not need no explanatory notes. And they would have a point.)

There is also, for completists, a 58-page Delegated Powers Memorandum (here). This should only be looked at if you have a serious interest in the delegated powers. It is heavy duty stuff.

The House of Commons Library (an excellent group of people and an adornment to our constitution) has provided a research briefing on the Bill. This is an essential resource,

The briefing is at the link at the bottom here.  This briefing is, in general, your best and most impartial guide to the Bill.  Read the introduction and general sections, though (as with he Explanatory Notes) use the detailed comments as footnotes when looking at individual clauses.

It is worth checking with the House of Commons Library research briefings page from time to time to see if there is any further briefing as the Bill progresses.

As for informed commentary, you should keep looking at the blog of the estimable Professor Mark Elliott.  He is not only a leading legal blogger, he happens to be one of the UK’s leading experts on constitutional law and is legal adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution.  His Twitter account is here.

Any useful commentary will be linked to on his special and regularly updated resources page on the Bill.

**

For email alerts for my posts at Jack of Kent – including for Brexit updates – please submit your email address in the “Subscribe” box on this page.

***

header banner image

Regular blogging at Jack of Kent is supported by the kind sponsorship of Hammicks Legal Information Services. 

****

Comments are pre-moderated and will not be published unless they are polite or interesting/informative (and preferably both).  

 

Brexit negotiations: Key Round Three documents

10th September 2017

I have added the following documents to the Brexit negotiation resource page, following Round Three of the Brexit negotiations on  28th to 31st August 2017:

David Davis’ opening remarks on 28 August 2017 at the start of the third round of EU exit negotiations

Speech by Michel Barnier on 31st August  2017 at the press conference following the third round of Article 50 negotiations

David Davis’ closing remarks at the end of the third round of EU exit negotiations in Brussels

David Davis’ statement to the House of Commons on the second and third rounds of the Article 50 negotiations.

The joint technical note on EU-UK positions on citizens’ rights after third round of negotiations, 31st August 2017  – this summarises the UK and EU positions and compares them following the 3rd round of Art. 50 negotiations