EU says Britain has to meet budget commitments

EU says Britain has to meet budget commitments

EU says Britain has to meet budget commitments

Mr Juncker's comments emerged as Mr Barnier released a raft of new papers setting out the EU's negotiating position on sensitive issues including the future of the Irish border, customs arrangements, intellectual property rights, public procurement and data protection.

The EU commission paper is actually entitled "guiding principles", while all the others are "position papers". The aim of this dialogue is to reach a political agreement with the United Kingdom in order to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts - of which the United Kingdom is a co-guarantor under global law - as well as preserving the Common Travel Area, which predates Ireland and the UK's membership of the EU.

Known for organising their efforts via a WhatsApp group, the ERG is thought to have helped shape the Government's approach to Brexit since the European Union referendum.

Lord Jay said he has been "encouraged" by reports of progress made on the border issue "which sets Ireland rather apart from every other aspect of the negotiations which as far as I can tell there wasn't any progress".

It also welcomed the government's commitment to securing a transition period "so that firms can ensure they are ready to adapt to the changing relationships and thrive under the new partnership being created with the European Union".

The paper called for the negotiations to secure a political commitment to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the gains of the peace process.

"All this could be avoided if the British government took the sensible decision, on leaving the EU, to remain in the single market or at least the customs union".

Despite Mr Johnson's unwavering faith in the possibility of a trade deal, the EU's negotiators have expressed displeasure at the way talks over the divorce bill are progressing.

According to the EU's paper, procurement processes launched before Brexit in March 2019 should still to be governed by European Union public procurement law. A British position paper published in August suggests that it is possible for the United Kingdom to leave the EU's Customs Union while retaining an open border by means of "imaginative solutions".

Meanwhile, Mr Barnier rejected the UK's suggestions for a light-touch Irish border after withdrawal, suggesting they presented a threat to the integrity of the single market.

The UK already published its proposals last month on how to deal with the new border, but both Ireland and the European Union negotiating team remain sceptical about the situation.

"That was one of the reasons I went to Detroit - not so we could replicate what there is between Detroit and Buffalo - but so that we could use some of the same techniques, [such as] authorised economic operators, pre-notification, electronic tagging on containers".

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