BRUSSELS: Britain and the European Union have made sufficient progress in negotiations on the terms of their divorce to move on to the next phase of talks on a transition period and a future trade relationship, the European Commission said in a statement on Friday (Dec 8).
“The European Commission has today recommended to the European Council (Article 50) to conclude that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom,” the commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said in a statement.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, said: “This is a difficult negotiation but we have now made a first breakthrough. I am satisfied with the fair deal we have reached with the United Kingdom.
“If the 27 Member States agree with our assessment, the European Commission and our Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier stand ready to begin work on the second phase of the negotiations immediately. I will continue to keep the European Parliament very closely involved throughout the process, as the European Parliament will have to ratify the final Withdrawal Agreement.”
Negotiators worked through the night to reach a deal before a Sunday deadline for Britain to finalise its divorce terms from the EU, ahead of a Dec 14-15 leaders’ summit that will unlock negotiations on a future trade deal.
Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, said: “The Commission’s assessment is based on the real, genuine progress made in each of our three priority areas. By agreeing on these issues, and settling the past, we can now move forward and discuss our future relationship on the basis of trust and confidence.”
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