Theresa May has managed to strike a withdrawal deal. Now comes the hard partby Jill Rutter / December 8, 2017 / Leave a comment
The prime minister has managed the not inconsiderable feat of simultaneously aligning her cabinet, her party, the island of Ireland and the EU.
Providing the PM can keep them all on board over the next week (and she is already turning to arch Leaver Michael Gove to sell the settlement and sing loyal praise), the next stop is the European Council next week. Donald Tusk today said he would look to the Council to authorise talks about transition—and to prepare the 27 for talks about the future relationship—with new EU negotiating guidelines to be adopted in March. The UK should seek to use that time to influence those guidelines—as we have learnt in phase one, the mandate matters.
Transition matters to the UK. There is a drumbeat of reports from parliament and evidence from officials that the UK will not be ready to meet the obligations of a “third country” by 29th March 2019…