EU Negotiating A Veto on British Laws


EU Seeks Post-Brexit UK Law Veto. UK Planning to Override Withdrawal Agreement.

Both sides in the negotiation between the European Union and the United Kingdom are planning steps that can jeopardize the ongoing negotiations. Barnier and the EU want the right to veto post-Brexit British laws, and Boris Johnson is planning new legislation that will override key parts in the withdrawal agreement.

About the Veto

Michel Barnier, who is the lead negotiator for the European Union in the Brexit negotiations, held a keynote address last week at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland.

In his address, he stressed the importance of a trade agreement and the fact that one should be agreed on before October 31st. Any agreement reached between the negotiators needs to be ratified by all 27 remaining European Union Member States before it goes into effect on January 1st 2021.

Barnier: United Kingdom Lacking Engagement

And, as I have said before, I am particularly worried – and disappointed – by the UK's lack of engagement on three points:

First point: Since the start of these negotiations, the UK has refused to engage on credible guarantees for open and fair competition.

A Level Playing Field that ensures common high standards – in areas such as labour rights and the environment – and with effective domestic enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms, is the only way to start a new relationship between the EU and the UK on a firm and sustainable footing.


Second point: Since the start of these negotiations, the UK has not shown any willingness to seek compromises on fisheries.

Contrary to media reports this week, the UK government's position has not evolved in past months.

No new legal texts have been tabled by UK negotiators.

Where the EU has shown openness to possible solutions, the UK has shunned our offers.

Barnier doesn’t specifically mention the third point in his address, but he goes on with mentioning several issues specific to the situation in Ireland, and the importance of solving them.

You can read the full address here.

The next round of negotiations, which will be the eighth round, will be this week.

Barnier: European Union Want Veto on United Kingdom Laws Impacting Trade

This weekend The Times reported that Barnier is said to be insisting on a veto on United Kingdom Laws that could distort trade with the Union. 

The Times reports:

The obligation, which the EU wants written into any trade agreement, would potentially delay the government from implementing reforms to Britain’s environmental, social or state aid rules until they had been through a formal dispute resolution process.

There are fears that the United Kingdom will use State Aid to give an unfair advantage to British companies. This is one of the moves the European Union is trying to block with the right to a veto.

David Frost has rejected the veto approach. If both the United Kingdom and the European Union stand their ground, there will be no trade agreement and the United Kingdom will leave the European without a trade deal at the end of the year.

About Overriding the Withdrawal Agreement

The Financial Times announced this weekend that the British Government is planning legislation that would override key parts of the withdrawal agreement. 

Reuters reports:

Sections of the internal market bill, due to be published on Wednesday, are expected to “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement” in areas including state aid and Northern Ireland customs, the newspaper said, citing three people familiar with the plans.

You can find the Reuters article here, and the original Financial Times article here (subscription required).

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