Brexit negotiators reached a political deal on the terms of a Brexit transition period in a new draft withdrawal agreement that will ease business fears over a post-Brexit cliff edge but leaves the decisive issue of the Irish border unresolved.
The deal was outlined in a new, color-coded version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, published by chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday and announced in a press conference alongside U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis in Brussels.
If signed off by the EU-27 at the European Council summit later this week, the agreement will see the transition last 21 months, ending in December 2020.
To reach an agreement, the U.K. had to make compromises, agreeing to grant EU citizens arriving in the country during the transition the same rights as those arriving before Brexit, and on its preferred length of transition.
Barnier said EU citizens moving to the U.K. during the transition would have “the same rights and guarantees” as those who arrive before the Brexit date in March 2019.
British negotiators have also softened their position on fisheries access, but have secured an agreement that the U.K. will be consulted on fishing allocations for 2020 and the share of the U.K.’s catch will not change.