Wednesday , September 20 2017

Brexit talks can’t be secret, EU says in transparency push

Bloomberg

The European Union is refusing to allow the upcoming Brexit talks to take place in secret, in a rebuff to U.K. appeals to keep positions confidential.
With just over a month to go before negotiations are due to start, the bloc set out how it will make its negotiating documents public every step of the way.
The EU has produced a list of papers it will disclose throughout the negotiation with the U.K. that’s scheduled to continue until late 2018. The policy is contained in a draft seven-page document entitled “Guiding principles for transparency,” which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
“We’re prepared to have great transparency on all the negotiating documents that are to be made public,” the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told lawmakers on Wednesday at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The EU’s position to a large extent reflects the reality of communicating among 27 countries and the difficulty of ensuring documents remain confidential as they fly between national capitals and different EU bodies. But committing to keeping the public informed also shows the bloc’s confidence that it already holds the upper hand before the negotiations get under way after the U.K.’s June 8 election.

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epa06201855 Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at an event at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain 13 September 2017. EU citizens living and working in Britain gathered in London to lobby members of parliament to guarantee their rights when the UK leaves the EU.  EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

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