Britain and the EU are now in the final phase of negotiations over their future relationship. We are yet to see whether they can strike a deal on their future trade and security relationship.
If, and when, a deal comes, much of the focus will be on analysing how the remaining negotiating issues, particularly on level playing field, fisheries and governance, were resolved; what are the next steps for political and parliamentary approval of the agreement; and, finally, what it means for the domestic legislation (Internal Market Bill) that the UK government has introduced in recent months to alleviate some of its problems with the Withdrawal Agreement that it negotiated last year.
Behind the headline issues, however, the deal will be an extensive and detailed document. It will likely exceed 500 pages of legal text, with at least a dozen accompanying technical annexes. It might even be split into several separate agreements, covering areas from aviation and nuclear cooperation, to coordination on social security and judicial and security matters.
This briefing note sets out what to look out for amid all the minutiae. It sets out three key questions to ask on the overall shape of the deal and 30 questions to assess the quality of any deal that is on the table. This list is in no way comprehensive – there are many other questions to be asked about the implications of any deal. However, it does highlight questions that, in our view, are most significant either economically or politically.