Credit: Jazmin Campbell

Today, British Ambassador to Luxembourg John Marshall discussed his view that Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU27 are progressing slowly but surely, with much agreement in many areas.

At an informal discussion held on 6 September 2017 at the British Ambassador to Luxembourg’s residence, Ambassador John Marshall spoke with members of the Luxembourg press on the British government’s position on Brexit negotiations.

The chat revolved around the perceived progress of negotiations following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union and its four main aspects at this stage: citizens’ rights, Ireland, financial settlement and separation issues, such as moving away from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Indeed, the ambassador stated his opinion that: “Good process has been made on many issues.” More specifically, Ambassador John Marshall highlighted what he perceived to be solid progress and largely agreement between the UK and EU27 on the issues of citizens’ rights and the question of Ireland, as well as health and social security, frontier rights and the establishment of businesses.

However, the British ambassador noted that there was still a lack of agreement, and indeed clarity, regarding the financial aspect of Brexit and the mutual recognition of qualifications between the two parties. Regarding the financial settlement, he commented that, due to its complexity, it came as no surprise that there has been “no big breakthrough” on this issue as of yet, but that discussions on the topic will resume at the end of September. The UK government then expects considerable progress to be made on this topic by October.

When asked about the future of higher education and business relations post-Brexit, the ambassador replied that the UK aims for an agreement that will continue to attract both international staff and students and companies to the country.

Finally, the British Ambassador to Luxembourg made it clear that the British government considers it important to move onto the next phase of negotiations as quickly as possible, as, in the words of the ambassador: “Some current issues are intrinsically linked to future partnerships”. In this regard, he used the example of the border issue in Ireland.

For further information on the UK government’s position regarding Brexit, Ambassador John Marshall stated that further position and discussion papers are planned for release as the UK and EU27 move onto the next round of negotiations.