By Zacchaeus Allen, Contributing Writer
More than a year has passed since U.K. citizens voted for their country to exit the European Union, but numerous issues concerning economic relations with the European continent remain unresolved. In fact, the U.K. is currently required to follow all agreements previously made with the European Union despite its official status as having exited.
The Treaty of Lisbon, a founding document of the EU, allows two years for a country to negotiate the terms of its exit. Exactly how trade will be conducted after the U.K. has completely left the European Union is one of many topics that are dividing the people living in the countries that will be affected. In addition to this, the replacement of the EU’s political policies governing criminal justice, human rights and international travel creates uncertainties that are imperative to resolve.
However, talks between the U.K. and the European Union are currently limited to the terms of exit, not trade. The BBC reported that EU negotiators have outlined a set of necessary talking points with the most important being the price that the U.K. government will pay to the EU for leaving. This price is commonly referred to as a ‘Brexit Bill’ or a ‘Divorce Bill,’ and it exists to fund any projects that the U.K. representatives agreed to support while in the bloc, as well as to pay pensions and other benefits for U.K. citizens living in Europe.
EU expectations for this amount range from about €60,000,000 to €80,000,000, but the U.K. will argue for €30,000,000 to €50,000,000, CNBC said. The U.K. will almost certainly need a two-to-three year transition period even after the two year negotiation period, and this transition period will cost the U.K. about €20,000,000, CNN reported. Although none of these values have been confirmed, it is certain that the U.K. will be losing a significant amount of money.
The personal rights of the millions of EU residents living in the U.K. is also a chief concern in Brexit talks. One question is whether the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will still have jurisdiction in the U.K. and, if so, for how long. Negotiators will also have to determine the status of millions of U.K. citizens working abroad in EU member states, the BBC said. Current proposals offer a limited transition period in which expats can continue their work as normal until a final agreement is reached. There is also the question of the court in which criminals will be tried, especially in situations where the parties involved include both EU and U.K. citizens, the BBC reported.
Under the single market, citizens of the Republic of Ireland and the U.K. were able to freely travel over the land border between the two countries without going through border security. Maintaining a situation similar to this would be desirable to all frequent travelers over the border. According to NBC, resolving this issue is one of a few core requirements negotiators say must be decided upon before any discussions on other issues can take place.
Negotiators will have several complicated issues to discuss before the U.K. is finally free of the EU.