A bit of an odd month. Mostly it’s been quiet on the negotiating front, as everyone prepares for March and Phase 2.
However, there has also been a flurry of activity, including the British internal discussions on the end-state of the New Relationship, the numerous speeches that have amounted to not much, and the Commission’s presentation yesterday of a first draft of a final text. This latter is a mix of previous Commission positions with legal versions of the commitments jointly made in December.
It’s likely that there will be another round of action off the back of this, but I’ve cut off any of that by running this update to the end of yesterday, when everyone was still deciding what line they wanted to take.
The barriers to a deal has seen various changes, which mostly reflect longer-run trends, rather than short-term ones. The picture that emerges is that is much more likely to be UK internal issues that result in a blockage to a deal, which might not surprise many. However, overall the risk of no-deal is smaller than it was earlier on, as underlying dispositions have shifted clearly towards getting a text signed off in the autumn.