Brexit: EU officials said to be considering provisional application of any agreement
That means that ratification procedures will take place after that
This seems to be the safety net in case negotiations next week continue to lead nowhere. The pressing issue now is time as EU officials view that a deal needs to be struck by next Monday in order to facilitate the translation and ratification before the year-end.
According to RTE Europe editor, Tony Connelly:
Another standout element of today's briefing is that officials are considering Provision Application of the agreement because time is diminishing so fast, ie that an agreement wd provisionally come into effect on Jan 1 but that all the ratification procedures wd happen after.
Those would include ratification by the European Parliament some time early in the new year - not clear yet how that will go down with MEPs.
Such a move will bring up the debate on whether or not the deal would be "mixed" or "EU only" but that would be a technicality that they should be able to easily work out in the end; not withstanding the three key outstanding issues of course.
In summary, this just means another alternative option to kick the can down the road again if there is no agreement to be struck next week. Hence, the deadline for any deal will then be pushed back again to December.
Yep. Never trust a Brexit "deadline".