Brexit: EU Commission promises transparency

The European Commission’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, unveiled negotiating recommendations for forthcoming talks with the United Kingdom

According to EU Commission’s opinion, the British withdrawel of the EU should be regulated by a two-phased approach. Only if important issues such as financial questions and the rights of EU citizens in Great Britain are settled to a large extent, the EU will be prepared to discuss future relations and trade agreements, Barnier told reporters in Brussels.

In regards to the discussions on a „Brexit bill“, the executive stated that Britain would have to fulfill all financial commitments made for this financial period and should be committed to the multiannual EU financial framework. This still runs until the end of 2020 - almost two years longer than the UK is still a member. However, Barnier insisted that this is not a “punishment”: “It is about settling the accounts.”

In light of the differences between the two sides on these issues, Barnier announced that the EU would enter into the negotiations „cool-headed and solution-oriented“. He promised full transparency throughout the process to „help sustaining the constructive public debate.“

The recommendations of the EU-Commission are expected to be formally adopted by the General Council of the EU on 22 May. For that, a special qualified majority of 20 Member States will be necessary, which must represent 65% of the population of the remaining 27 Member States. Only then the EU's Brexit negotiations could officially begin. But with the new election in the United Kingdom in sight, talks are expected to start not before the mid of June.