As far as divorces go, it’s becoming quite protracted.
The lawyers are all on first name terms, and the couple in question are understandably exhausted.
But, after all the shouting and threats, some serious compromises have been made as the UK and EU edge towards a full split.
The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the two sides had agreed on a transition period, calling the announcement a “decisive step”.
Good meeting with @MichelBarnier again this morning – #Brexit negotiations are moving forward – progress on Irish issues remains a key priority for both negotiating teams and solidarity with our EU partners remains strong. pic.twitter.com/JgN9xZe828
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) 19 March 2018
He spoke after meeting with the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis.
The transitional period will begin from Brexit day – 29 March, 2019 – and is designed to smooth the path to the future permanent relationship.
Mr Barnier said there was also an agreement on the rights of 4.5m EU citizens in the UK and the 1.2m UK citizens in the EU after Brexit.
Brexit Secretary David Davis announces that the EU and the UK have come to an agreement on protecting citizens rights during the transition period pic.twitter.com/d0IunocxpU
— Sky News (@SkyNews) 19 March 2018
But he said more work still needed to be done on important subjects including the Northern Ireland border.
Both the UK and the EU hope the terms of an agreement on the transitional period can be signed off by Theresa May’s fellow leaders at the EU summit this week.