Richard Parry discusses the attempts to express political objectives in secure legal wording as Brexit progresses
On 20 December 2017 the EU Commission set out its draft supplementary negotiating guidelines for the next phase of the Brexit negotiations, during which the arrangements for UK withdrawal on 29 March 2019 will be finalised and the course set for the end-state of relations following the transition period. The European Council’s final guidelines adopted on 29 January 2018 are very similar, and usually word for word.
The post-Hogmanay atmosphere is always sobering, and never more than this year when the party may be over for some many people in so many ways. During 2017, three great political experiments - Brexit, the Trump Presidency and the Catalonian independence project - failed to progress beyond the damage limitation stage into the payoffs their proponents expected. In Scotland, the snap UK election was a piece of bad luck for the SNP and accelerated the comeback of Scottish Conservatives and Labour.