by Mish

The document also demands arbitration by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). These are both non-starters from the UK side.

"Just 10 days before the general election, the EU published two documents that will affect every person living in Britain for years to come. Despite being dropped into the maelstrom of an election caused by Brexit, there was hardly a murmur.

The documents were the most detailed positions yet from the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the upcoming divorce talks with the UK.

In two policy papers, the bloc has elaborated its stance on the Brexit bill and citizens’ rights.

The 10-page paper on the bill does not put a price on the divorce, but sets out in painstaking detail all EU bodies with a vested interest in the spoils – 40 agencies, eight joint projects on new technologies and a panoply of funds agreed by all countries, from aid for refugees in Turkey to supporting peace in Colombia.

No detail is too small. Britain is even on the hook for funding teachers at the elite European schools that educate EU civil servants’ children.

On citizens’ rights, the EU spells out in greater detail the protections it wants to secure for nearly 5 million people on the wrong side of Brexit – 3.5 million EU nationals in the UK and 1.2 million Britons on the continent.

In a red rag to hardline Brexiters, the document stresses the European court of justice (ECJ) must have full jurisdiction for ruling on disputes about citizens’ rights, while the European commission ought to have full powers for monitoring whether the UK is upholding the bargain.

“On the side of the 27, people are a little cross and they have hardened their positions,” said Jean De Ruyt, a former EU ambassador. “It is a dangerous situation when you harden positions and you cannot do anything [because formal talks have not begun].”

The divide is stark on the Brexit bill. The European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, was shocked after May told him the UK had no obligation to pay anything on leaving the bloc.

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Diplomats on the EU side say they cannot contemplate scaling back demands on the divorce. EU civil service pensions will not be bartered away to secure the UK’s post-Brexit contribution to the union’s seven-year budget, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF), the EU diplomat said.

“I think our priority is that the UK will pay for everything,” they said. “Everything is a priority – we cannot trade pensions for the MFF.”

Ridiculous Demands

Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis has mocked the European Union over divorce talks after Brussels published its position papers for talks with the UK on crucial issues.

PressTV reports UK describes EU Brexit demands as ‘ridiculous’.

Davis said on Tuesday that the EU’s demands to protect its citizens’ rights in the UK were “ridiculously high”, giving its citizens greater rights in the UK than Britons have.

“Art of the Deal”

“Art of the Deal” tactics by the EU are not going to work.

The EU exports more to the UK than vice versa. Fishing rights in UK waters are in play. The lower British Pound will temper cost of any tariffs the EU places on UK exports. EU imports to UK will collapse.

It’s hard to imagine a worse negotiating stance than that taken by the EU.

Once again I repeat: Brexit Negotiations: Why Bother?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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