It’s finally here. The United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 12 released it’s intended withdrawal bill, it’s first published document outlining the government’s intended actions for leaving the European Union. Explanatory notes to the Bill, prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union, are published separately as Bill 5—EN.
The introduction of the Bill comes only days before the second round of Brexit negotiations kick off on Monday, July 17 and amid conflicting rhetoric between both sides. With the amount of the UK’s Brexit bill still dominating negotiations, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson enflamed tensions when he suggested that the EU could ‘’go whistle’’ over the sums being thrown around. Replying to the comments, Michel Barnier, pleaded with the UK that the clock was ticking and it was time for it to ‘’engage substantially with all the issues’’.
Background on Brexit
On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. On 29 April 2017, the European Council – made up of the heads of state or government of the 28 EU countries – adopted a set of political guidelines, which define the framework for the negotiations and set out the EU’s overall positions and principles.
The EU is represented by Michel Barnier, as Chief Negotiator for the 27 EU countries. His taskforce at the European Commission coordinates the work on all strategic, operational, legal and financial issues related to the negotiations.