LONDON — The European Union on Wednesday published its official
guidelines for negotiating Brexit with the United Kingdom,
setting out its aims for the two years of talks that lie ahead.
“The main objective of the Agreement is to ensure an orderly
withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and from
the European Atomic Energy Community,”
a European Commission paper says.
The EU’s aims for negotiations are split into two phases, the
paper shows, with Wednesday’s paper dedicated to the first phase
of talks, in which the EU attends to reach two goals.
They are as follows:
- To “provide as much clarity and legal certainty as possible
to citizens, businesses, stakeholders and international partners
on the immediate effects of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from
- And to “settle the disentanglement of the United Kingdom from
the Union and from all the rights and obligations the United
Kingdom derives from commitments undertaken as a Member State.”
Within these aims, the EU has officially set out its base
positions on a series of issues, including confirmation that it
will expect Britain to pay a substantial financial settlement on
leaving the EU.
“A single financial settlement should ensure that both the
Union and the United Kingdom respect the obligations resulting
from the whole period of the United Kingdom membership in the
Union. The negotiations relating to the methodology for the
financial settlement should be based on the following
principles,” the paper says.
Calculations for how much the UK owes the EU will be based
on Britain’s owed contributions to the EU budget, as well as the
costs associated with withdrawing from EU bodies or institutions,
and its exit from “specific funds and facilities related to Union
policies (e.g. the European Development Fund and the Facility for
Refugees in Turkey).”
European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier said at
a press conference alongside the release of the guidelines that
any financial settlement is not a “bill” and said he did
not know how much that settlement would be worth.
Various estimates have been floated,
with the Financial Times writing on Wednesday that it could be as
much as €100 billion.