Europe News

10 things you should know about the Brexit breakthrough

Key Points
  • After six months of intense talks, a divorce settlement has been reached
  • Negotiators are now set to move to phase two of Brexit — discussing trade arrangements
  • The EU and the U.K. have also yet to agree on a transition period

Brexit negotiators claimed Friday they had reached a crucial breakthrough in talks, after six months of intense discussions.

CNBC highlights the main points from the new joint agreement.

Decision on sufficient progress in hands of EU 27: Juncker
  1. March 29, 2019 will be the cutoff point, or "specified date," for citizens' rights. This means that negotiators have agreed to keep the current rights applied to European citizens but only to those moving to or from the U.K. before March 29, 2019. This is when the U.K. officially leaves the Union.

  2. Family members of a U.K. citizen, who lives in one of the remaining 27 EU countries, (and vice-versa), will be entitled to join him or her after March 2019 and for the duration of their life time, but conditions apply — including continuing to be related when they wish to join the expat.

  3. The administrative procedures — relating to citizens' rights — will be transparent, smooth and streamlined, the document said.

  4. An EU citizen who has obtained permanent residence rights in the U.K. (and vice-versa), is allowed to leave for a period of five years without losing such a right.

  5. U.K. courts and European courts should exchange case law and continue the current dialogue between them. This should continue for a period of 8 years from the date the U.K. leaves the EU.

  6. The U.K. has also guaranteed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. But the details won't be known until negotiators conclude talks on trade. If they don't reach a deal on trade then the U.K. vowed to "maintain full alignment" with the internal market rules and the customs union, which are currently the basis for the cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

  7. People born in Northern Ireland will be able to keep their current right to choose Irish or British citizenship, or both.

  8. Both parties have agreed a methodology for the financial settlement — this is the divorce bill that the U.K. will pay to fulfill its remaining obligations before it leaves. A spokesman for the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said that this could mean Britain paying a total of between £35 billion and £39 billion (between $47 billion and $52 billion), Reuters reported.

  9. The bill will be drawn up and should be paid in euros.

  10. Brexit negotiations are not over. Negotiators will now shift to trade and any potential transition period. The withdrawal agreement will then have to be approved by several institutions before March 29, 2019.
EU Commission head says more to resolve to reach Brexit deal