UK And EU Reach Agreement Taking Brexit Talks To "Phase 2" As Irish Border Questions Linger

Early on Friday morning, the EU and UK negotiated a deal allowing Brexit negotiations to move on to the "Phase 2", which will establish their future trading relationship.

The European Commission said it recommends to the European Council to conclude that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the U.K. The European Council will announce its decision on 15 December 2017. If approved, talks can proceed to second phase. Diplomats from both sides worked into the night to resolve the Irish border issue – although questions remain whether it’s really fully resolved. UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Brexit secretary, David Davis, travelled to the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, early on Friday morning to conclude the agreement with EU President, Jean Claude Juncker, and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

Juncker and May subsequently hosted a press conference announcing the breakthrough. In a sign that a deal had been reached Martyn Selmayr, Juncker’s head of cabinet, had earlier tweeted a photograph of white smoke emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, the signal that the Vatican has successfully chosen a new Pope.

News of the deal led to an immediate spike in Sterling which however faded almost as quickly. Bloomberg reports.

(The) Pound erased earlier gains as investors took profits after U.K. and EU struck a deal to move forward on Brexit negotiations, shifting focus to more difficult trade talks, Mizuho Bank says. “The more important issue is the trade talks which are more difficult, so it’s understandable the pound has been sold on the fact of a breakthrough which has been talked about for the last few days,” says Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist in Tokyo. “There’s political uncertainty over the U.K.’s decision on whether to retain access to the single market or not, and this fluid political situation doesn’t warrant pound buying. I think the pound has seen a peak”.

The major delay in reaching agreement had been the question of the future border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which has been propping up May’s government in Parliament, had demanded a “soft” (basically open) border with its southern neighbour. However, no details were provided during the press conference and the DUP noted this morning that more work is needed (see below).

According to the Financial Times.

Britain reached a historic deal on its EU exit terms on Friday, enshrining special rights for 4m citizens and paying €40bn-€60bn in a hard-fought Brexit divorce settlement that clears the way for trade talks next year. Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, met early on Friday to sign off a 15-page “progress report” that will allow EU negotiators to recommend opening a second phase of talks on post-Brexit relations. Shortly after the breakfast started, Mr Juncker’s chief of staff Martin Selmayr tweeted pictures of white smoke rising from a chimney stack, indicating the deal was done. The final breakthrough on Northern Ireland’s border came after a week of high drama in Brussels and Westminster, with agreed compromises scuttled on Monday by the Democratic Unionist party, Mrs May’s parliamentary allies.


The prime minister’s decision to seal the agreement on Friday marked the finale of a three-week diplomatic effort to finalise the most contentious divorce terms. EU leaders will formally decide at a summit next week whether it represents “sufficient progress” to start the second phase of negotiations. Mrs May is to meet Donald Tusk, the European Council president, later in the morning. In a move intended to show an immediate EU response to Britain’s offer, Mr Tusk intends to release draft negotiating guidelines this morning that set EU priorities for the next phase, including in trade and a post-Brexit transition negotiations.

During the press conference, Juncker commented that “Both sides had to listen to each other, adjust their position and show a willingness to compromise…This was a difficult negotiation for the European Union as well as for the United Kingdom.” In an uncharacteristic gesture of goodwill, Juncker stated “We can now start looking towards the future – a future in which the UK will be a close ally.”

May remarked that securing the deal had “required give and take on both sides”, but she now looked forward to a “positive and ambitious future relationship” and the settlement was “fair to the British taxpayer”. Nonetheless, most British taxpayers will not view a 40-60 billion euro payment to the EU as fair, since the settlement is closer to the opening demands of the EU. May also stated that she will be writing a letter to the people of Norther Ireland and was pleased  that the rights of 3 million EU citizens in the UK and 1 million UK citizens in the EU had been secured.

While today’s agreement is a step forward in the Brexit process, hurdles remain. Last night, DUP leader, Arlene Foster, told Sky News that she had secured “six substantive changes” to the text on the Irish border. However, it’s become apparent that Foster has only given a cautious approval to the deal, noting that there is still work to be done on regulatory alignment and that the initial agreement could “pre-judge” the outcome of political discussions within the UK. In a statement she noted.

We cautioned the Prime Minister about proceeding with this agreement in its present form given the issues which still need to be resolved and the views expressed to us by many of her own party colleagues. However, it was ultimately a matter for the Prime Minister to decide how she chose to proceed.

If the Irish border question can be fully resolved, the negotiations on the future trade relationship could be difficult and prolonged. Responding to the news, Nigel Farage, the high-profile former leader of the UK independence party, stated “The deal is not acceptable”. According to Marc Ostwald, global strategist at ADM ISI in London.

The question now is whether the hard Brexiteers decide to unseat Mrs May.

Readers can peruse the full 7000-page report outlining the Ireland agreement, rights of EU citizens in the UK and the controversial Brexit divorce bill in its entirety at the following link.


BritBob Fri, 12/08/2017 - 05:59 Permalink

At least we're getting off the bus -Federal United States of EuropeThe European Union should transform into a federal “United States of Europe” by 2025 says Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament and contender for German Chancellor.“I want there to be a constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe,” Mr. Schulz said Thursday during a speech at a Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP) convention in Berlin.He told members of the party, which he leads, that the EU should rapidly expand its power and erode the sovereignty of nation-states, and that any country standing in the way must be ejected from the bloc. (Breitbart 12 Dec 17).   

east of eden Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:36 Permalink

Britain derives 330 billion pounds of it's GDP in trade with the EU. Without a deal, there would be severely restricted trade. So what did it cost, really. And extra 20 Billion Euros, or about 15 Billion pounds. They will make that money up in very short order. As it is, it will be hard enough for the population to make the transition due to lost jobs, lower (but more sane) housing prices, and less possibility for advancment, but then, that is what they voted for - their right to determine their own future.

ConfederateH east of eden Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:56 Permalink

Since England isn't in the Eurozone, she owes none of the ECB debts.  Since all the EU infrastructure across southern and eastern Europe was built partially using English taxes, that money should be paid back with interest.  All those freeways and train tracks belong partially to England.   All the EU office buildings and land as well. All those "refugees" forced into England by the EU should be paid for by the EU or sent back to Calais.England should shut down the EU economy until the cash lands at the BoE.  I would suggest a quick blockade of the Med at Gibraltar, and the North Sea at Scotland.  They don't even need ships, just fighters firing a couple of missles across the bows.Germany should have gotten on board with the OBOR from the beginning.

In reply to by east of eden

ConfederateH im-a-nut-job Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:00 Permalink

Deep and well though out reply from somebody with poor grammar and spelling. It probably took the entire morning for you to put that together.The point I am making is that if becomes a game of chicken then the EU will blink first if England shows some spine.  Plus, in my book, being right and having the truth in your sails counts as something worth fighting for. But then again, I am not a jew.Germany fought to the bitter end in 1945, not because Hitler forced them to, but because they had seen the Morgentau plan and Kaufmanns "Germany Must Perish".  They knew they were right and that they were fighting the yid-empire to the death. Both England and the EU are little more than yid vassal states, so clearly there will be no war unless, for some reason kept secret from stupid goy useful idiots, it is good for Israel.

In reply to by im-a-nut-job

JustUsChickensHere ConfederateH Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:23 Permalink

Something I do not recommend..... BUT ,...... The Westminter parliment always has the ultimate 'big stick' to retaliate against any EU bullying.  Pass a bill regulating interbank lending (overnight borrowing) against EU banks.  At the discretion of the chancellor.If the EU attempts to bully - stop the overnight borrowing by the EU banks. Result? Banking crash in the EU instantly.  Lots of people would die as a result.... but hey ... it would be calling the bluff of Brussels if needed.As I said - not recommended - strictly last resort stuff.

In reply to by ConfederateH

GreatUncle Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:45 Permalink

Actually it is amusing ... if the population elects 650 nationalist MP's well 350+ or so then you can just tear up any agreement anyway so the agreement has no worth. That is how the UK constitution works, May cannot bind the future, article 50 never needed to be adhered to (the lord who drafted it up knowing committed treason) and the UK parliament is sovereign so can revoke everything.Besides the point ...The UK population will be nationalist soon enough when their beloved NHS already struggling with draconian cuts that even if Labour gets in you got to find the 40-60 billion the EU demands before you can start to increase funding to the NHS. Not a chance ... and the UK population is being turned into EU economic slaves. The education system in tatter of students with such a level of indebtedness but never unable to earn the level of income required to pay the debt that "never expires". Then as for pension ... what money you got left? Nothing ... poverty awaits the masses as the golden pension those in government legislated for themselves can never be cut.Not my government, not my parliament, sold the population out through and through.The despising of them is only in the beginning phase ... within a decade it will be many factors higher. Even if they now decided to ignore BREXIT now the rift is set, all those who voted BREXIT will be forced into poverty by the above while BREMAIN's swan around with moderate to good lifestyles. You want you going to have to take it from them by force ...

wonger Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:58 Permalink

So were not having another referendum then? Tony Blair what have you been doing with the £50m the Rothschilds gave you to stop Brexit? You little lying mass murdering piece of jew paid scum of the earth!

helloimjohnnycat Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:55 Permalink

Limp Britain :Too many fags, too many perverts, too many pakis, muzzscums, & afro-animals, lorded over by jooz.Da' joo scob-knobbers own that place and can keep it & the shitty weather.Attach four giant smoke stacks to the " isle " and ram it with a berg.The deck chairs are already worn out from all the shuffling about & money-changing.Don't bother jumping, you fuckers already did.Glub Britain, a shit hole's shit hole shut.

wonger Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:03 Permalink

Funny how so many British are anti European, but they love their Royal Family and the Bank of England that are shafting them up the arse every single minute of everyday as slaves! lol 

Killdo wonger Fri, 12/08/2017 - 13:22 Permalink

they tend to believe everything they see on TV and they watch more TV than any other nation I have ever seen. I used to live in London (13 years) - all they talk about the next day at work is what they saw on TV the night before. Also when they showed that Big Brother crap in early 2000 I think - everyone I knew there watched it religiously - pubs, bars etc would all empty and Anglosheeple would go home to watchUK has always been a very totalitarian place - people there have learned to fake being above it or'superior' in reality they have entered a dark age of human interaction  - it's normal to have neighbors for 10 years nextdoor and never to speak to them. They treat their cousins like strangers or enemies  - and when Princes Diana died (because she was dumb enough to not wear a seat belt) - everyone cried  - especially sheeple who woudl not give a shit if their parents or cousins diedIt's not a coincidence that 1984 was written in the UK - that's where such totalitariansim originates 

In reply to by wonger

To Hell In A H… Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

We are fucked in the E.U and fucked out of the E.U. The Irish boarder issue is a non-issue. Too many Brits do not understand the terms of 85% of our trading outside of the E.U, North America, New Zealand and Australia. It was outright daylight robbery. The terms were so scandalous, that after intense and successful lobbying another term was invented to explain the newer more equitable trading terms. It was called "FAIR-TRADE". You see fair trade coffee, bananas, chocolate etc, but those are the most visible. Uk trading terms with the 3rd and developing world usually went like this.... "You can send us goods we can't grow ourselves. There will be no tariffs on raw materials, but any valued added goods you make, will be heavily tariffed. Conversely all our value added goods will be tariff free, or a nominal tariff set on it of no more than 5%. If you don't like these terms, the £200 million pounds of fruit a year we except tariff free, will now face tariffs and the £120 million we send to you in aid will end"These 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90's and early 2000 one-sided trade deals are not so easy to attain today. Despite the Daily mail propaganda, 3rd and developing world nations are refusing our aid packages, because of the strings attached. IE: Well give £120 million in aid, and part of the conditions is tariff free access to their markets and deals like this  Yes we sold them a radar system and they have no working fucking planes. Aid packages are not free despite what the Daily mail wants us to believe, it has to be paid back and 99% of aid deals have to be spent with British companies, who then have the choice whether to outsource work to local contractors or not, which they regularly don’t. We'll make £2.8 billion in profit from all our business dealings and tariff free trade in Tanzania, pay Google and Starbucks level of tax, then shout from the roof tops about how British businesses do extremely well abroad blah blah blah, but the devils in the fucking detail. This rotten case and trade deal/aid package was finally settled in 2011  This is what we really mean when we talk about trading with the rest of the world, but even these type of deals are coming to an end.

wonger Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:14 Permalink

Try telling the average Brit that they are paying back mortgage/car/credit loan money plus interest back to the banks keeping them as debt slaves when the money they borrowed didnt even exist until they borrowed it and the bank created the digits on a screen costing about £1.00 in staff cost only, they just stare at you and say "oh ive got to get home now to watch the x factor! lol

sheketebaka Fri, 12/08/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

I think it's funny that every time I tune in to an American radio program I get some crazy old lady calling in complaining that she lost her IRA during the financial crisis