Tracking EU-UK meetings

Simon Usherwood |

At various points in the Brexit process I’ve produced trackers, primarily to capture interactions between the EU and the UK. that included ones for the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade & Cooperation Agreement (and this), as well as the progress of UK enabling legislation.

The aim has been to keep sight of developing processes, where that might reveal as much as the outcome.

This is of more salience now that the two treaties are in force, since it will be their operationalisation that matters, especially in the context of how each side see the question of any renegotiation. Failure to engage in the agreed structures might be a leading indicator of rising pressure to reform the system, and/or a marker of good faith efforts (depending on which side you stand on).

With that in mind, I’ve been running two trackers for the numerous bodies of the two treaties since their entry into force. Data comes from the comprehensive resource on the Commission website.

As you can see below, the WA has seen very much more activity, partly because it’s been in force longer, but also because its text left a lot of critical matters to be resolved by the Joint Committee. The Irish Protocol has been a big driver of this, but so too have been the demands relating to citizens’ rights (as registration periods come to an end) and other matters.

By contrast, the TCA has been very slow to get moving, institutionally. That might be understood as a function of the more slow-burning nature of its content, but the failure to meet the intended quarterly meetings of the main Partnership Council is essentially political: the WA has crowded out the agenda on this.

In any case, I’ll be continuing this work for the next few years, since it might highlight shifts ahead of the consent vote on the Protocol in 2024 and the general review of the TCA the following year.