Adoption of the negotiating directives on the Brexit transition period

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Series Details 29.01.18
Publication Date 29/01/2018
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Further information:

The decision was made during a meeting of the General Affairs Council [EU27 format] on 29 January 2018.

The proposed end date for the transition period in the negotiating directives is 31 December 2020. During the transition period the whole of the EU acquis would continue to apply to the United Kingdom as if it were a member state. All existing EU regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures would also apply, including the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

During the transition period, the UK would remain bound by the obligations stemming from the agreements concluded by the European Union, while it would no longer participate in any bodies set up by those agreements. The UK would have to continue to comply with EU trade policy, to apply EU customs tariff and collect EU customs duties and to ensure all EU checks are being performed on the border. This also implies that during that period the UK would not become bound by international agreements in its own capacity in fields of competence of EU law, unless authorised to do so by the EU.

The UK, as already a third country, would no longer participate in the institutions and the decision-making of the European Union.

These negotiating directives provide the European Commission, as the EU negotiator, with a mandate to start discussions with the United Kingdom on this matter.

Background information:

The European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on 8 December 2017 regarding three main issues which composed the first phase of the negotiations on the UK's withdrawal fromt he EU:

+ Protecting the rights of Union citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the Union;
+ The framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland with its border with Ireland;
+ The financial settlement.

The European Commission therefore recommended to the European Council [in its Article 50 format] to conclude that sufficient progress had been made in that first phase. As a result, European Council President Donald Tusk announced he would soon put forward the key guidelines for the second phase of the negoiations:

+ Negotiating the transition phase;
+ Clarifying the UK's vision of its future relationship with the EU.

+ European Council summit, 14-15 December 2017
+ Recommendation for a Council Decision supplementing the Council Decision of 22 May 2017 authorising the opening of negotiations with the United Kingdom for an agreement setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal from the European Union, 20 December 2017
+ David Davis’ Teesport Speech: Implementation Period – A bridge to the future partnership between the UK & EU, January 2018

The Council of the European Union [in its EU27 format] adopted on 29 January 2018 a set of supplementing negotiating directive for the Brexit negotiations, which detail the EU27 position regarding a transition period.

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Related Links
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Library: Research Briefing, No.8238 (23.02.18): Brexit: who has said what about transition?
The Conversation, 02.02.18: The Brexit transition – a legal expert explains what’s on the negotiating table
EUObserver, 06.02.18: EU plans sanctions if UK violates Brexit transition deal
Politico, 06.02.18: EU toughens Brexit transition demands in draft legal text
UK: Parliament: House of Commons: Library: Briefing Paper, No.8234 (23.02.18): Brexit: Council Directives for Negotiations on Transition
EUObserver, 29.01.18: The next hurdles in Brexit talks
BBC News [Reality Check]: EU lays out its transition position
BBC News, 29.01.18: EU agrees Brexit 'transition' negotiation guidelines
The Guardian, 29.01.18: Brexit: UK given warning over outstanding divorce issues
The Irish Times, 29.01.18: UK to be denied EU decision-making role during Brexit transition
Politico, 30.01.18: Upbeat Michel Barnier plays superior Brexit hand
Politico, 29.01.18: EU to UK: You won’t set rules during Brexit transition
EU Law Analysis [Blog], 25.01.18: Phase 2 of the Brexit talks: annotation of the EU27 negotiation position
Deutsche Welle, 29.01.18: Brexit: EU ministers agree on transition period demands
EurActiv, 29.01.18: EU to back Brexit transition demands as tensions rock May

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