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This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What does ‘red lines’ mean?

‘Red lines’ in negotiations are areas that one side states it will not compromise on, due to some fundamental interest. In the Brexit negotiations, the UK government argues that being an independent coastal state for determining fishing access or maintaining regulatory autonomy and freedom from any role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are red lines. The EU negotiating mandate argues that protecting the integrity of the EU single market and ensuring the ECJ has sole right of interpretation of EU law are red lines.

Find out more – read analysis on Brexit negotiations by Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis, published in early March 2020.

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