European Commission Brexit Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier [official profile] on Wednesday published the European Union’s proposed directives [text, PDF] for the UK’s departure from the EU, saying [statement; press release] the highest priorities were citizens’ rights, financial settlement and border regulation. EU Treaty Article 50 [official backgrounder] governs the departure of a member state from the union, and Barnier emphasized the importance of both sides agreeing to the amount the UK will pay to leave the EU before negotiations advance further. UK Brexit Secretary David Davis [official website] has expressed skepticism [BBC report] over the amount the EU may seek. The proposed directives will be considered by the EU General Affairs Council [official website] on May 22.
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. In March European Union President Donald Tusk [official website] laid out earlier plans [JURIST report] for the EU’s negotiations with the UK. Also in March 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.