There has been widespread coverage of a leaked document that toughens the EU position on the negotiations. According to various newspapers The Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Politico, the EU is demanding in the new draft negotiating directives further concessions from the UK in exchange for a transition period. It seems the EU is negotiating in bath faith as it is seeking to revise the terms of the Phase 1 divorce agreement which were agreed one month ago.

  • Brussels wants to delay the end of freedom of movement between the EU27 and UK by extending the deadline by which EU citizens living in Britain can claim a special residency status to the end of the transition, 31 December 2020. Hence, free movement rights and a special status would be extended to all EU citizens arriving in the UK before the final day of the transition at the end of 2020. Consequently, the UK would not be able to introduce new immigration controls on EU migrants before 2021.
  • The EU-27 is also planning to demand stricter terms on trade agreements namely requiring the UK to seek authorisation from the EU  to enter new trade agreements. It states  that  “During the transition period, the United Kingdom may not become bound by international agreements entered into in its own capacity in the fields of competence of Union law, unless authorised to do so by the Union.” To sum up, “The United Kingdom should continue to comply with the Union trade policy,”.
  • The EU-27 is also planning to demand stricter terms on fishing rights.  The new text said there would be “specific consultations” over fishing during the transition period but no procedure to negotiate the total catch allowed in British waters. Yet the text says there should only be “specific consultations” about fishing during the transition period, which remain “in full respect” of EU law.
  • It also makes clear that the legal effect of EU law will be the same on Britain as any other EU member state during the transition period. It states that  “the direct effect and primacy of union law should be preserved,” It also stresses that “The jurisdiction of the court of justice of the EU (and the supervisory role of the commission) should be maintained. Those rights should be protected as directly enforceable vested rights for the lifetime of those concerned.”