EU leaders will meet the next weekend to discuss the brexit deal. An important moment in negotiations that have been going on for nearly two years now. Where are we standing right now? Political reporter Fons Lambie and Melle Garschagen, correspondent in London, explain it.
What will be agreed at the EU summit next Sunday?
Two issues are discussed: what the separation agreement will look like and a political statement on how the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) deal with each other in the future. What is striking is that the UK and the EU want to stay closely connected in a gradual, soft separation.
Prime Minister Rutte speaks of ‘good news’, but emphasizes that we are not there yet. Many of the agreements in the future relationship must now be negotiated. How do you do it with fishing? With agriculture? How do you deal with goods? How are you going to arrange that free trade area? That is really only starting now.
What are difficult points of discussion for the EU summit?
Much attention is paid to the fisheries and the Gibraltar issue. Spain is a bit cross over the small British rock in Spain. The Spaniards demand a say in how it is arranged there after the brexit. Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez has threatened a veto, but diplomats expect a solution to be possible.
Another sensitive issue is fishing. At the moment many European, and therefore Dutch, fishermen fish in British waters. The fear among fishermen is that access to British waters is limited or completely closed.
It has been agreed that an agreement on fisheries must be reached by 1 July 2020. But whether that will work out? According to insiders, fishing agreements are one of the biggest points of contention. Yet their expectation is that EU leaders will approve the agreements tomorrow.