A look at what is ahead now that Brexit talks have startedJune 19, 2017 12:59pm

BRUSSELS (AP) — The talks on Britain's exit from the European Union finally started Monday when EU negotiator Michel Barnier said "Welcome David" to his counterpart, David Davis, and led him toward a huge oval table at the European Commission headquarters.

As the negotiations kick off, here's a look at some of the major issues the sides face.



They will first have to unravel the British from the EU, which will be challenging to say the least. That will involve everything from deciding what waters each side can fish in to how nuclear agreements should be renegotiated. Only when there is "sufficient progress" does the EU want to look at creating a new relationship with Britain on things like trade and migration. Britain hopes the two themes — divorce terms and future relationship — can be discussed in parallel.



While Britain has struggled to agree on and present a coherent list of demands, the 27 EU nations have had one message all along — in the words of Barnier on Monday: "We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit." It means clarifying the fate of EU citizens in Britain and vice versa, how to manage the border between Ireland and the U.K., and how much Britain will pay.



The EU says Britain can't leave without settling its bill, paying up for all its commitments that are still ongoing, including projects that might reach into the next decade, as well as the U.K.'s share of EU staff pensions. EU officials have put the figure at around 50 billion euros ($63 billion) while other estimates by think tanks and in the media go as high as twice that amount. As in any divorce, count on both sides to be picky in splitting the goods and dues.



The EU says it will not compromise on its core "four freedoms": free movement of goods, capital, services and workers. Britain insists that it must regain the right to control immigration and end free movement from other EU countries into Britain. May says Britain will leave the EU's single market in goods and services and its tariff-free customs union, but nonetheless, somehow, wants "frictionless" free trade.



Even though May triggered the two-year process on March 29, negotiators will have to get a full agreement much faster than March 2019. EU nations and the European Parliament will have to approve any future deal and that can take months. EU officials have therefore put the realistic deadline at October — and at the latest November — of 2018. If no deal is struck by then, the sides may have to create a transitional deal, possibly prolonging some of the current relationship.

If Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, that would create huge uncertainties for citizens and businesses as well as issues like global security. How bad that would be in reality is anyone's guess.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond speaks during the Economy Day of the Economic Council of the German Christian-Democratic Union in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 27, 2017.  Around 3,500 representatives from politics, economy and science participate in the event. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)
Treasury chief says UK wants economy 'anchored' in Europe
FILE - This March 23, 2010, file photo shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters in Brussels. The European Union's competition watchdog on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 has fined internet giant Google over its online shopping service. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
Correction: Google-Europe story
EU prolongs Russia economic sanctions by 6 monthsThe European Union has officially extended economic sanctions against Russia by 6 months for destabilizing Ukraine
UK doctors' union calls for change in abortion lawThe British Medical Association says abortions should not be a criminal offense and called for them to be regulated in the same way as other health procedures
British Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement on the European Council to members in the House of Commons, London, Monday June 26, 2017.  Theresa May  told Parliament Monday that steps will be taken to make sure the Brexit split with the EU is handled with care for the estimated 3 million EU citizens currently living inside Britain. (/PA via AP)
Theresa May details post-Brexit plans for EU citizens in UK
Protesters chant slogans during a rally outside the Interior Ministry in Athens, on Monday, June 26, 2017. With a heat wave expected later this week, Greece's government Monday urging striking garbage collectors to return to work after a 10-day protest has left huge piles of trash around Athens. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
Greece eyes market return as debt dispute still simmering
This component is currently unavailable.

Related Searches

Related Searches