Shelagh Fogarty Runs Through Theresa May's Wins And Loses On Transition Deal
19 March 2018, 14:04
David Davis and Michel Barnier have announced the terms of the UK's two-year transition deal after meeting in Brussels.
Mr Barnier said: "What we're presenting to you today is a joint legal text which constitutes a decisive step"
"We were able to agree on a large part of what will make up an international agreement for the ordered withdrawal of the United Kingdom.
"We're not at the end of the road."
Mr Davis said: "We must seize the moment and carry on the momentum of the last few weeks", adding "the deal today should give us confidence that a good deal for the UK and EU is closer than ever before."
The proposed deal includes an emergency "backstop" to avoid a hard border by allowing Northern Ireland to stay in the single market and the customs union.
Shelagh Fogarty gave a comprehensive run down of the terms at the start of her show.
She said: "It's just a whisker short of two years really.
"Theresa May has said a lot on citizens' rights, that they cannot be the same the day after March 29th 2019 for those new arrivals to the EU. Well she's lost on that one because it turns out that they will be.
"The government has agreed that on Northern Ireland the backstop solution that the EU came up with must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal bill and it must apply the backstop solution unless another solution is found.
"The backstop solution suggested by the EU is that Northern Ireland remain in the customs union and in the single market so a fundamental, seriously fundamental, difference from the rest of the UK.
"Now that probably won't happen, is my guess.
"I can't see how it could happen without the breakup of the United Kingdom but there you have it.
"That's what we've agreed to. That the backstop solution must form part of the legal text of the withdrawal bill and will apply unless another solution is found.
"David Davis, when he made his statement in response to that, said 'of course another solution will be found, I'm confident that it will be.'
"But as things stand, the day after we leave the European Union, we will all remain in the customs union and the single market.
"Another loss is that we won't have a voice in the EU after that, even though we remain under the jurisdiction of the customs union and single market and all policy that is made on that.
"On fish we won't be able to negotiate as an independent state on our fisheries until 2020. So again, the day after Brexit, we won't have freedom of our fisheries back so that doesn't strike me as much of a win.
"We can do trade deals during the transition period, so that is a definite win.
"David Davis suggests we will have a voice during transition but it won't be much of one. We will be on a joint committee rather than full members.
"And on defence, we will remain close to the European Union on and their security, but we can say no to policy decisions during the transition period to defence and foreign policy that is made.
"So I suppose that's a win for the UK but arguably we have a lot of freedom over defence anyway."