[Brexit negotiations]: Brexit: Negotiations Update (March-June 2018)

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details No.8339 (20.06.18)
Publication Date 20/06/2018
Content Type

This briefing paper provided an update on what had been said by the United Kingdom and the European Union about the state of the Article 50 TEU negotiations between March-June 2018, and what this appeared to leave to be ‘agreed’ at the European Council, 28-29 June 2018.

Brexit Negotiations

+ 29 March 2017: The UK triggered Article 50, the process for the start of the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
+ 19 June 2017: 1st Round
+ 17-20 July 2017: 2nd Round
+ 28-31 August 2017: 3rd Round
+ 25-28 September 2017: 4th Round
+ 9-12 October 2017: 5th Round
+ 19-20 October 2017: European Council
+ 9-10 November 2017: 6th Round
+ 8 December 2017: Meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May. Joint report on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU
+ 15 December 2017: European Council (Art.50)
+ 29 January 2018: General Affairs Council (Art. 50)
+ 6-9 February 2018: EU-UK Article 50 Negotiations
+ 26-27 February + 5 March 2018 + 13-15 March 2018: EU-UK Article 50 Negotiations
+ 16-18 April 2018: EU-UK Article 50 Negotiations
+ 22-24 May 2018: EU-UK Article 50 Negotiations
+ 5-8 June 2018: EU-UK Article 50 negotiations
+ 19-20 June 2018: EU-UK Article 50 negotiations

State of the negotiations

The last publicly released joint output from the UK-EU negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU was the March 2018 draft Withdrawal Agreement. This document made clear that while there was agreement on significant areas of the Withdrawal Agreement, there were also still key areas – institutional and relating to Ireland and Northern Ireland, most obviously – where agreement had not yet been found.

Separately, the European Council and the European Parliament released negotiating guidelines and a resolution on the ‘future relationship’ they envisaged with the UK in March 2018. The Council’s document would form the basis of the EU’s side of the negotiations on the ‘political declaration’ that formed the other part of the Article 50 TEU package to be agreed between the UK and the EU on withdrawal.

In the negotiations, there are thus two issues at play simultaneously:

+ Negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement – these would produce a legally binding text that would need to be ratified by both the UK and by the EU Council of Ministers, and would then become binding upon both parties under international law.
+ Negotiations on the ‘future relationship’ – these would produce a non-binding ‘political declaration’ that would outline, in broad terms, the shape of the ‘future partnership’ negotiations that the UK and the EU hoped to conclude once the UK was no longer a Member State.

Both were required to be completed under the terms of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), though in practical terms the Withdrawal Agreement itself was of significantly greater importance and must be in a detailed, finished state by the end of 2018 so it could enter into force within the two-year Article 50 TEU window.

The political declaration could be as detailed or as general as the negotiating parties determined in 2018, and could thus be a significant or limited factor in the shape of the next negotiations between the UK and the EU. However, if the Withdrawal Agreement (with some form of 'political declaration' attached) was not fully agreed and ratified by both parties by March 2019, the UK would not enter into a ‘transition/implementation’ period but simply ‘leave’ without a deal.

The next European Council meeting was on 28-29 June 2018, and the EU made clear in early 2018 that it wanted substantial progress on the areas of ‘disagreement’ in the draft Withdrawal Agreement by this date. In the absence of an agreed text by then, the Withdrawal Agreement and the political declaration would both continue to be subject to negotiations until the next European Council meeting (to be held in October 2018).

For further information on the EU-UK Brexit negotiations click here.

Source Link http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8339/CBP-8339.pdf
Related Links
UK in a Changing Europe: Blog, 05.07.18: The UK-EU relationship: the political consequences of mutual misunderstanding http://ukandeu.ac.uk/the-uk-eu-relationship-the-political-consequences-of-mutual-misunderstanding/
ESO: In Focus: Brexit - The United Kingdom and the European Union http://www.europeansources.info/record/brexit-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union/

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