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Legal draft expected for Brexit

28 February 2018

Following prolonged discussion and lengthy negotiations, the EU is expected to publish legal details of the UK's withdrawal from Europe.

With recent discussion focussing on the Northern Ireland border issue, the draft is predicted to state that EU single market rules will need to be followed, in order to avoid a hard border.

The UK has also indicated that it is not in favour of Northern Ireland returning to the hard border model but does not want Northern Ireland to remain within the EU customs union.

This issue is of particular interest to the FM sector, as the topic of EU workers' rights within the UK is highly important to the industry.

However, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) had said the draft details will be a major breach of an agreement formed in Brussels at the end of 2017.

DUP member Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said those believing that the UK will agree to a border in the Irish Sea "are deluded", according to the BBC.

He further stated that the draft will conflict with the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as established within the Belfast Agreement.

The BBC said the 120-page draft will outline three potential options to avoid a hard Irish border.

This will focus on agreements previously established on Ireland, citizens' rights and Brexit.

Included within this will be a recommendation that the Brexit transition status should end by the close of 2020.

The UK will lose all voting and decision rights and will have no say on any new rules agreed by the remaining 27 EU states.

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