The Beginning of the End? Citizens’ rights in the Brexit ‘Sufficient Progress’ deal
by Professor S. Peers
Yesterday’s ‘joint report’ on the progress in the Brexit negotiations (accompanied by a Commission paper and a joint technical note on EU27 and UK citizens’ rights) amounts to an informal deal to proceed to the second phase of Brexit talks. That second phase will focus on a transition period (discussed here; and see the draft EU negotiation guidelines here) and the framework for the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU.
But for now the joint report is the main issue. It’s a political document, not a legal one, but it’s practically very relevant to the formal legal process of drawing up the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU, as it sets out many agreed details concerning key parts of that agreement: citizens’ rights, Irish border issues, the financial settlement, and ‘winding up’ rules. Some points still need to be agreed or fleshed out; the formal legal text of the withdrawal agreement must still be drafted; and any agreement on what happens in the transition period will have to be added to the withdrawal agreement. Yet yesterday’s deal is undeniably a milestone, making it rather more likely that a final complete withdrawal agreement will be agreed.