Brexit – latest news
Posted on 06.04.2017
On 6 April the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, met with the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May to discuss the start of the negotiations. In Strasbourg, following a plenary discussion, the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative Resolution setting out its views on the Brexit negotiations on 5 April. Members of the European Parliament stressed the importance of citizens’ rights – both in the UK and in the EU, as well as mentioning that the UK should agree trade deals with third countries until it leaves the EU, and continue to respect its financial obligations until it formally leaves. The European Parliament, led by its representative Guy Verhofstadt, will also have a say in the Brexit process with any EU-UK withdrawal agreement requiring consent from both legislatures, the Council and the European Parliament.
These developments are following last week’s news when the UK government formally notified the European Council of its withdrawal from the European Union, triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. UK Prime Minister Theresa May issued the letter to European Council President Donald Tusk laying out Britain’s decision which was then followed by European Council President Donald Tusk’s statement regarding the notification. The notification has begun the process of two years for the UK and EU to discuss the withdrawal agreement before the UK ceases to be an EU member state. At the end of negotiations, all remaining EU member states (27) must agree with the deal negotiated as well as the UK Parliament.
The Council has also published draft guidelines for negotiations with the view to adopt the guidelines on 29 April. The guidelines set out a ‘phased approach’ with the withdrawal agreement placed as a priority before discussions on future relationship between the EU and UK. In parallel, the UK Parliament’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’, which formally sets out repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, will go through scrutiny in the UK Parliament over the next year with adoption expected in 2018.
In the coming months, the European Commission, charged with the task of leading negotiations on behalf of the EU institutions, will begin negotiations. The Commission’s Brexit team is led by Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, supported by Task Force 50. Mr Barnier has stated that although the timeframe is two years, he would like to finalise negotiations by October 2018.
MedTech Europe is continuing to monitor the process and closely liaise with members. For more information please contact Neha Dave.