Brexit: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom
The European Commission has issued (3 February 2020) a recommendation to the Council to open negotiations on a new partnership with the United Kingdom.
This recommendation is based on the existing European Council guidelines and conclusions, as well as on the Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom in October 2019.
It includes a comprehensive proposal for negotiating directives, defining the scope and terms of the future partnership that the European Union envisages with the United Kingdom.
These directives cover all areas of interest for the negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence, participation in Union programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation. A dedicated chapter on governance provides an outline for an overall governance framework covering all areas of economic and security cooperation.
As EU negotiator, the Commission intends to continue work in close coordination with the Council and its preparatory bodies, as well as with the European Parliament, as was the case during the negotiations for the Withdrawal Agreement.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “It’s now time to get down to work. Time is short. We will negotiate in a fair and transparent manner, but we will defend EU interests, and the interests of our citizens, right until the end.”
Michel Barnier,the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator,said: “We will negotiate in good faith. The Commission will continue working very closely with the European Parliament and the Council. Our task will be to defend and advance the interests of our citizens and of our Union, while trying to find solutions that respect the UK’s choices.”
The Council will have to adopt the draft negotiating directives. This will formally authorise the Commission to open the negotiations as Union negotiator.