Teams of negotiators from the U.K. and the EU have spent nearly the last two years reaching a draft deal on Brexit. They finally published last week a 585-page withdrawal agreement that covered a £39 billion divorce bill, citizens' rights post-Brexit and an agreement on the Irish border.
But while that draft deal has had many detractors in London, and might not even be approved by the U.K. parliament, it's a separate, shorter 'Political Declaration' on the much-vaunted "future relationship" with Britain that's causing problems ahead of the summit.
This had been due for publication Tuesday and was delayed because some member states are not happy with its wording. But on Thursday, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said there had been "an agreement in principle" on the draft text outlining a future relationship and that this needed to be endorsed, at an EU-level, on Sunday.
There future relationship concerns a wide variety of sectors including trade and security, fishing and financial services, to intellectual property rights, transport and energy.
Details of the Political Declaration reported Thursday by Reuters said that both the U.K. and EU "envisage having a trading relationship on goods that is as close as possible, with a view to facilitating the ease of legitimate trade." It also said an economic partnership should ensure there are no tariffs, fees or quantitative restrictions across all sectors."