EU President Donald Tusk outlines future plans with UK following Brexit News
EU President Donald Tusk outlines future plans with UK following Brexit

European Union President Donald Tusk [government website] laid out plans for the EU’s future negotiations with the UK during a speech [text, PDF] in Malta on Monday. In response to the UK’s invocation of Article 50 [JURIST report], whereby the UK is now “on the other side of the negotiating table” according to Tusk, he outlined four of the “main elements” of the larger draft guidelines [text, PDF]. Tusk laid out what he said were the top priorities for the negotiations

We need to think of people first. Citizens from all over the EU live, work and study in the UK. And as long as the UK remains a member, their rights are fully protected. But we need to settle their status and situations after the withdrawal with reciprocal, enforceable and non-discriminatory guarantees.

Second, we must prevent a legal vacuum for our companies that stems from the fact that after Brexit the EU laws will nolonger apply to the UK.

Third, we will also need to make sure that the UK honours all financial commitments and liabilities it has taken as a Member State. It is only fair towards all those people, communities, scientists, farmers and so on to whom we, all the 28, promised and owe this money. I can guarantee that the EU, on our part, will honour all our commitments.

Fourth, we will seek flexible and creative solutions aiming at avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. It is of crucial importance to support the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Tusk said that “parallel talks” between the UK and the EU on other issues cannot begin until these four main issues have been addressed, despite suggestions by some in the UK that negotiations begin immediately.

There has been controversy surrounding Britain’s choice to leave the EU since June when a majority of UK citizens voted [JURIST report] to leave the EU due to a growing discontent with EU policies, including immigration. Yesterday the UK Parliament released the Great Repeal Bill[JURIST report], outlining the process to solve issues that could arise out as Britain leaves the EU.The Brexit bill received royal assent [JURIST report] from the Queen earlier in March allowing May to use Article 50 to exit the EU. Implications of Brexit extend well beyond immigration, however. Scottish lawmakers, under the guidance of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, on Tuesday voted [JURIST report] 69-59 in favor of holding an independence referendum.