EU demands Brexit agreement made legally binding
London: The Brexit agreement struck by Theresa May last week must be turned into a legally binding treaty if the UK wants to progress to trade talks, the EU is set to insist – after the British government appeared to row back from its commitments just days after it was agreed.
The Independent understands that the European Parliament is to revise its red lines following comments by David Davis that the agreement was just a "statement of intent" and claims in the Commons by Ms May that the UK would not be bound to pay its divorce bill if no trade talk was inked.
Meanwhile, a leaked draft copy of the European Council's text on last week's agreement, set to be agreed by EU27 heads of state and government on Friday, shows the countries will insist that the UK start drafting the deal into law.
MEPs are said to be "pissed off" with Mr Davis's comments despite the Brexit Secretary having backed away from them the next day and claiming he meant the deal was "more than just legally enforceable".
A draft of the Thursday and Friday summit's conclusions reported by The Times says: "Negotiations in the second phase can only progress as long as all commitments undertaken during the first phase are respected in full and translated faithfully in legal terms as quickly as possible." While the European Parliament's resolution is still being drafted, it is understood that the text is likely to contain similar demands to the council's text.