These Diplomatic Notes Reveal What EU Governments Really Think About The Brexit Deal buzzfeed.com/albertonardell…
Some EU27 governments have raised questions this week about prolonging the transition, EU-UK customs arrangements, and most contentious of all, fish and access to UK waters.
On fish, one official asked why UK was getting access to the internal market in the backstop, but EU27 were not getting access to UK waters in return? Fish does seem like the one issue where some govts still need some convincing that a UK commitment to negotiate will suffice
In this sense, July 2020 as the date to take stock of the status of talks is important as it’s when fishing quotas would start to be discussed among member states
Despite these wrinkles, the vibe among EU27 ambos this morning was positive, and nobody wants to rock the boat (too much). Still, there are questions, and some very specific concerns. A sign UK-EU negotiators have compromised (and UK should probably be careful asking for more)
Interestingly (for me at least), it was explained that both sides can request a transition extension. This is a joint decision either way. However, without a trade deal, or an extended transition, the backstop automatically kicks in
EU27 ambassadors will me meet again Sunday to go over the withdrawal text, while a beefed up version of the political declaration is due early next week.
Team Tusk has strongly indicated that the Nov. 25 EUCO should not be a drafting session, but simply to endorse the deal