Agreement on Brexit transition period
The EU and Britain have agreed on conditions for a transition period after the Brexit in March 2019. Britain must adhere to EU regulations for 21 months and may no longer participate in decision-making processes. In exchange access to the single market and the customs union as well as citizens' legal security are to be maintained. Is this a breakthrough in the negotiations?
Now things really get complicated
The really difficult stage of the negotiations is only just beginning for the EU, the Süddeutsche Zeitung predicts:
“Now it will become apparent that the 27 EU states have widely diverging interests. The British will know how to exploit this. Europe must take care that the Brexit doesn't become a divisive force. So far all the EU states have worked as a team because they wanted the same. As regards both the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the money, the EU has been able to push through its demands - only the volatile Ireland issue remains to be resolved. ... Next on the agenda is a trade agreement. Precisely because the EU has such diverging interests, a clear maxim must apply: Britain must get a worse deal than the status quo - particularly as regards financial services. Everything else is negotiable.”
Hardliners already lurking in the wings
May's decision to cede on the legal certainty of EU citizens living in the UK during the transition phase will cause her problems, Il Sole 24 Ore predicts:
“A good few people in London will hold that against her: May's original tough stance was aimed at keeping the hardliners within the Conservative Party in line. They had threatened to depose her because of her weakness in the negotiations. Now the prime minister faces the difficult task of 'selling' the compromise to the MPs who favoured a hard Brexit. The ringleader of this front, the ultra-conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, has described proposals to grant EU citizens who move to the UK after the official Brexit date [in March 2018] the same rights of access and residence as 'inconceivable'.”