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This issue of the IIEA’s fortnightly Brexit Brief notes the state of play in the future relationship negotiations and the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.  

Against the backdrop of the evolving COVID-19 crisis, the debate over the future relationship between the EU and UK has gained traction in recent days. 

Following the third round of negotiations, which took place via videoconferencing in the week beginning 12 May 2020, the UK published its draft legal texts on the future relationship. The publication of series of sectoral agreements, with a draft Free Trade Agreement at its core, was welcomed by EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, who expressed the need for progress to be made particularly on governance and the level playing field. The texts had previously been shared with the Commission taskforce but were not made publicly available. 

A subsequent exchange of letters between the UK Chief Negotiator, David Frost and EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier highlighted areas of disagreement between the two sides. There is significant divergence on the issue of governance; the level playing field; fisheries; and cooperation on law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.  

There is one round of negotiations remaining before the high-level meeting in June at which progress will be reviewed and the two sides must agree whether or not to extend the transition period. 

This Brexit brief is available here.

Brexit Brief, published by the IIEA’s UK Project Group, is published on a fortnightly basis and covers developments in the on-going debate over the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.