Brexit EU EU DIGS HEELS IN REFUSING TO TALK TRADE UNLESS BREXIT PHASE 1 DEAL PUT INTO LAW Posted on December 12, 2017 10 min read Comments Off on EU DIGS HEELS IN REFUSING TO TALK TRADE UNLESS BREXIT PHASE 1 DEAL PUT INTO LAW 0 15 UK BOWS TO EU: Brexit phase 1 deal WILL be made law after Verhofstadt raged at Davis BRITAIN has bowed to pressure from the European Union by agreeing that Phase 1 of the Brexit deal will be put into law after a furious intervention by Guy Verhofstadt. Eurocrats are digging their heels in after the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis said Britain’s agreement “was more a statement of intent than a legally enforceable thing”, which prominent MEP Guy Verhofstadt claimed “undermined trust”. But in an extraordinary U-turn, Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed he has spoken to Belgian MEP Mr Verhofstadt and the pair have agreed to work together to agree that they will convert the joint report into legal text. Mr Davis bowed to pressure after Mr Verhofstadt blasted him for his “unacceptable” remarks over the weekend and accused him of “undermining trust” between London and Brussels. It comes after talks went on through the night on Thursday and Friday between Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the EU to sign off the first phase of negotiations. The last minute, early morning deal settled the divorce bill, the Irish border and EU citizens’ rights, with the hope negotiations can now move on to trade. But in a bid to win Brexiteers over to the agreement, which suggested the UK may be moving towards a soft Brexit, Mr Davis said claimed it wasn’t enforceable. Mr Davis then talked bullishly about wanting a “Canada Plus Plus Plus” trade deal with the EU, suggesting that the UK would not pay the rumoured £39 million divorce bill otherwise. And Theresa May yesterday told Parliament “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, saying she would refuse to pay the £39billion divorce bill if a trade deal wasn’t given. Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and the European Parliament’s representative in the Brexit negotiations, was left unimpressed by Mr Davis’s comments. Mr Verhoftstadt, who also served as his country’s Prime Minister from 1999 to 2008, tweeted: “Remarks by David Davis that Phase one deal last week not binding were unhelpful & undermines trust. Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker “EP text will now reflect this & insist agreement translated into legal text ASAP.” Mr Verhofstadt’s irritation is shared by others in Brussels, and a draft statement prepared by representatives of the 27 member states of the European Union, and due to be signed later this week, has been revised to say: “Negotiations in the second phase can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken during the first phase are respected in full and translated faithfully in legal terms as quickly as possible.” The text also calls on Mrs May to “start drafting the relevant parts of the withdrawal agreement” into law. The EU draft text states that “all existing regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures will apply” despite Britain not being part of the EU decision-making process. The letter shows the amendment, due to be ratified later this week Mr Verhofstadt is not the only eurocrat Mr Davis has enraged. Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts today accused Britain of behaving like a “gangster”, saying that the UK will be shunned by governments across the globe if it reneges on its promises to the bloc. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel’s key ally, Manfred Weber warned Britain could crash out of the EU without a transitional deal if “substantive progress” is not made on future relations within the next year. Putting the boot in, he said:“If David Davis and other key representatives in London now come along and cast doubt as to the results of the first phase, by saying for example that the financial payments will be withheld unless there is a trade deal, that clouds the picture once again.” Traffic crosses into Northern Ireland from the Republic alongside a Brexit Border poster Eurocrats are also likely to insist that, as a precondition to any trade deal, Britain must agree to what it terms a “level playing field mechanism” to prevent it offering tax breaks or subsidies in order to gain a competitive advantage over EU states. The words seem to shore up the EU’s position in the wake of Mr Davis’ comments, which he has since claimed have been misinterpreted. Speaking on LBC, he said: “I said this was a statement of intent, which was much more than just legally enforceable. “Of course it’s legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement, but even if that didn’t happen for some reason, if something went wrong, we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless, invisible border with Ireland. I was making the point it was much more than what’s just in the treaty, it’s what we want to do anyway.” The EU27 are meeting today to decide whether sufficient progress has been made on Brexit talks. Despite the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and its chief Brexit negotiator saying they believed enough had been done, the final decision lies with the member states. Brexit secretary David Davis said the phase one Brexit deal wasn’t enforceable EU digs heels in REFUSING to talk trade unless Brexit phase 1 deal put into LAW THE European Union is refusing to move on to the second phase of Brexit talks unless the Phase 1 agreement is put into law.