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The NorthWalesMEP writes for the Daily Post.

Byline: OPINION Derek Vaughan

S summer is coming to an end, Brexit negotiations are still on a hold.

ALast week the government exposed its key elements on the negotiations to avoid a trade and economic chaos in the UK.

However, due the sheer slow progress of the negotiations, it is certain that the EU will dash any hope of a future trade relationship between the EU and the UK, because, the EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has a fixed negotiating mandate, agreed by all member states.

This will impact hugely on Welsh citizens.

In October the European council will decide by unanimity whether sufficient progress has been made on the three key issues of citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border, in order for talks to be widened to negotiations over future trade once the UK has left the bloc.

It had become clear in recent weeks that the threshold for wider talks would not be met this autumn as it had been planned.

Should the second phase of talks be delayed until December or January, Britain will be left with 10 months at best to find agreement on a transitional deal to prevent a cliff edge for business in March 2019, when the UK leaves the EU. In that period they will also need to scope out how a future comprehensive trade deal might work, before any withdrawal agreement is put to the European parliament and the House of Commons.

Even if a trade agreement is reached, the UK will have no vote and therefore no decision on the union's trade or commercial policy.

Nigel Farage told the Daily Mirror on 16 May 2016 - 38 days before the referendum - that "in a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way".

Brexiters can hardly deny to their opponents the same democratic right that they claim for themselves, unless they secretly fear that the British public has, in fact, had second thoughts.

By March 2019, the outlines of the deal should be reasonably clear. The framework will need to be approved by parliament.

But it can be legitimised only by the people through a referendum, which would either endorse it or show that voters no longer wished to leave the European Union.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 22, 2017
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