Meetings have officially begun in Brussels to discuss the UK’s impending departure of the European Union. The two sides will now work diligently to decide the terms of the withdrawal. On Monday, talks centered around finalizing a timeline for this strenuous Brexit process.
Before trade policies are discussed, UK officials hope to first hammer out a firm timeline for their exit of the EU. Months of rumors have put a halt to a lot of business throughout Britain. Leaders want a clear schedule for their departure, helping big businesses to plan accordingly. The timeline is viewed as the first stepping-stone for local government.
Given the upheaval caused by the hung parliament resulting from the general election, some wondered if negotiations would be suspended altogether. Current Prime Minister Theresa May enters the meetings with so much uncertainty, it may negatively impact her stances on any topic. This was not the case on day one as all reports indicated peace between the two sides.
Both parties have agreed to enter negotiations for one week each month. Prior to the sessions, a group of experts will outline the topics up for discussion. 2019 is the rough year the UK has targeted for a full exit of the union. If all policies are not in place by that time, both sides could suffer economic hardships.
Of course, Monday’s meetings were only the beginning of a likely drawn out procedure. Talks began with a reminder that the union and the UK are still united as officials cited the recent terrorist attacks. The two sides have mutual respect, but understand that tough decisions need to be made. How will trade be regulated and will Northern Ireland remain a EU property? These are just two of the biggest issues that need ruling in the coming weeks.
On the business side, many industries have long stressed about the Brexit process. The housing market is currently in a standstill, waiting for the government to bring some stability. The market may be on pause throughout the negotiations, but some experts still believe house prices will recover in the future. Big banks have outlined backup plans in case the Brexit policies negatively affect trade and the overall economy.