EU leaders decided to begin second phase of United Kingdom’s EU exit negotiations
Meeting in Brussels on Friday 15 December, the leaders of the EU27 Member States decided that the negotiations on the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union can proceed to their second phase. They also discussed the goals and challenges of further progress with the economic and monetary union (EMU).
The second phase of the UK’s EU exit negotiations will deal with the transition period arrangements and will also see the launch of preliminary talks on the framework of the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
“The discussions have made good progress along the lines set by the European Union. This gives us cause to be satisfied. We do, nevertheless, have a major task ahead of us in the coming years. It is essential that the unity among the EU countries is maintained as we go forward,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.
The separate Euro Summit on Friday discussed the next steps to be taken in developing the EMU. Preparation of the banking union is seen as the most important and urgent step.
“Further efforts are needed to reduce the risks. In the current circumstances it is still not fair to start sharing risks on a common basis, because the bank sector risk levels vary so much between Member States,” explained Prime Minister Sipilä.
“We take a positive view towards further development of the European Stability Mechanism as an intergovernmental arrangement. Finland emphasises the need to develop the debt adjustment procedures of states as part of the reform of the Stability Mechanism,” said Sipilä.
“The fact that in the Government we reached agreement on Finland’s stance in a considered and prompt manner is of crucial importance in seeking to ensure that Finland’s goals are secured. We have also found partners among a number of like-minded euro countries and we shall be further intensifying our cooperation with them,” noted Prime Minister Sipilä.
In addition to the official agenda of the euro summit, the European Commission presented its own proposals for taking the EMU forward.
Inquiries: Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 319, Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office