EU Commission shapes Brexit tactics and prepares “Brexit bill”

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis

President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold a press conference after their meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Apr. 06, 2017

EU Commission shapes Brexit tactics and prepares “Brexit bill”


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Just a few days before EU-27 member states’ Sherpas meet on Monday to finalize EU’s negotiating guidelines, the European Commission forms its own negotiating strategy, preparing the draft Recommendation.

The Commission Recommendation is to be tabled on 3 May and will be ratified by the end of that month, before the UK heads to snap elections on 8 June.

According to a non-paper obtained by Politico, the Commission prepares a detailed plan, including a “Brexit bill” based on “the obligations undertaken before the date of withdrawal.”

An EU spokesperson adds on the existence of this Non-Paper that in general, it is normal that the Commission is preparing for Monday’s meeting and the adoption of the draft negotiating mandate, the Recommendation by the commission on 3 May, “with Non-Papers and other internal documents.”

This will be implemented through a “single financial settlement,” as the European Commission draft writes. This single settlement will be related to the EU budget and to the termination of the membership of the UK of all EU institutions, namely the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

UK’s obligation that come from the country’s participation in specific funds and facilities related to EU such as the European Development Fund and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, will also be part of the Brexit bill.

“These obligations cover liabilities, including contingent liabilities, legal and budgetary commitments and any other obligations,” adds the non-paper, suggesting that the calculation of the obligation should be part of the agreement. ”The obligations should be defined in euro,” concludes the draft on the financial settlement section.

More specifically, the Commission’s red line on what the single financial settlement should contain are five:

  1. A calculation of the global amount that the United Kingdom has to honour in order to settle its financial obligations toward the Union budget, all institutions or bodies established by the Treaties, and other issues with a financial impact. The global amount may be subject to future annual technical adjustments. This calculation will also identify the amounts covering or guaranteeing loans which have to be reimbursed to the United Kingdom if uncalled, on the basis of the maturity of the loans.
  1. A schedule of the annual payments to be made by the United Kingdom and the practical modalities for making these payments.
  1. Transitional rules to ensure control by the Commission (or, where applicable, another body responsible under Union law before the withdrawal date), the Court of Auditors, OLAF and the power to adjudicate of the Court of Justice of the European Union for past payments/recovery orders to United Kingdom beneficiaries and any payments made to United Kingdom beneficiaries after the withdrawal date to honour all legal commitments (including possible loans) authorized by the responsible entity before the withdrawal date.
  1. Specific possible arrangements in relation with legal commitments or future legal commitments made towards United Kingdom beneficiaries.
  1. Specific rules to address the issue of contingent liabilities assumed by the Union budget or specific institutions or bodies or funds (such as loans made by the European Investment Bank).
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