The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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EU Commission COM (2018) 556 Final document

On July 19th, the EU Commission published the COM (2018) 556 Final document that sets out advice for the remaining 27 Member States on how to prepare 'for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019'

https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/communication-preparing-withdrawal-brexit-preparedness.pdf

Many Brexiteers are angry with the proposals for withdrawal currently being used at negotiations with the EU, considering these will only result in BRINO or a 'soft Brexit' or something even worse for the UK than before the referendum.

However, the EU Commission's COM (2018) 556 Final document, seems to me, at least, to give a clear indication that the EU Commissioners have already disowned the UK. And the document is well worth a read if only to see how far the Commissioners have taken matters already.  For example:

On page 9: While stating clearly its fundamental purposes as the 'pooling' of Member States' sovereignty…and its 'exclusive competence to legislate in some areas (eg customs, trade, fisheries)…' the Commissioners admit that the EU's 'powers to put in place preparedness and contingency measures are in many cases limited to raising awareness and facilitating discussions and preparedness actions by concerned parties.'

The entire document is a warning to Member States, their businesses, individuals and national governments, to prepare for Brexit (whatever may be negotiated and ratified by 30 March 2019.)

On page 12: 'The relocation and reattribution work will have to be finalised by 30 March 2019, given that, as mentioned, even with a transitional arrangement, it will not be possible to entrust a third country with such Union tasks or the hosting of Union bodies after the withdrawal date.'  So, several months before the withdrawal date, the UK is already no longer to be 'entrusted' to host EU institutions.

Note that the EU has already decided that the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority will be sent to Amsterdam and Paris! And the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre and UK-based EU Reference Labs were mentioned in the context of relocation work (that) will have to be finalised by 30 March 2019.

These points show that the EU's current attitude to Brexit does not bode well for creative negotiations. It is obvious that the Commissioners have already disowned the UK. We are already 'a third country.'


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Friday, 17 August 2018