EU Negotiation Directives General

ANNEX to the Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION

authorising the opening of negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ANNEX DIRECTIVES FOR THE NEGOTIATION OF A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND


1. Following the notification by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter “the United Kingdom”) of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (hereinafter “the Union”) and the European Atomic Energy Community (hereinafter “Euratom”), the Union negotiated and concluded with the United Kingdom an agreement setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal (hereinafter “the Withdrawal Agreement”) in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

2. In the guidelines of 23 March 2018, the European Council restated the Union’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future. According to these guidelines, such a partnership should cover trade and economic cooperation as well as other areas, in particular the fight against terrorism and international crime, as well as security, defence and foreign policy. The European Council set those guidelines with a view to the overall understanding of the framework for the envisaged partnership, that was to be elaborated in a political declaration accompanying and referred to in the Withdrawal Agreement.

3. During the negotiations under Article 50 of the TEU, an overall understanding on the framework for the envisaged partnership was identified with the United Kingdom and recorded in the political declaration setting out the framework for the envisaged partnership between the Union and the United Kingdom (hereinafter “the Political Declaration”) approved by the European Council (Article 50) on 17 October 2019. In this context, the Political Declaration accompanied the Withdrawal Agreement that was concluded by the Union and the United Kingdom.

4. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period during which Union law applies to and in the United Kingdom. This transition period will end on 31 December 2020, unless the Joint Committee established by the Withdrawal Agreement adopts, before 1 July 2020, a single decision extending the transition period for up to 1 or 2 years. In the Withdrawal Agreement, the Union and the United Kingdom committed to use their best endeavours to take the necessary steps to negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their envisaged partnership with a view to ensuring that those agreements apply, to the extent possible, as from the end of the transition period. In the Political Declaration, the Union and the United Kingdom undertook to use their best endeavours to conclude and ratify their new fisheries agreement by 1 July 2020.

5. The negotiations of the envisaged partnership should be premised on the effective implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and of its three Protocols. In this context, the envisaged partnership should continue to protect the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement reached on 10 April 1998 by the United Kingdom Government, the Irish Government and the other participants in the multiparty negotiations in all its parts, in recognition of the fact that the peace process in Northern Ireland will remain of paramount importance to the peace, stability and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.


6. In its conclusions of 13 December 2019, the European Council (Article 50) restated the Union’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future, in line with the Political Declaration establishing the key parameters of the envisaged partnership between the Union and the United Kingdom. The Union’s approach will continue to be defined by the overall positions and principles set out in the relevant European Council guidelines and conclusions, notably those of 23 March 2018 and 25 November 2018.

7. The aim of the negotiations is to establish a new partnership between the Union, and Euratom where relevant, and the United Kingdom that is comprehensive and covers the areas of interest outlined in the Political Declaration: trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence and thematic areas of cooperation. The envisaged partnership should form a coherent structure and be embedded in an overall governance framework.

8. The Political Declaration also envisages that, where the Parties consider it to be in their mutual interest during the negotiations, the envisaged partnership may encompass areas of cooperation beyond those described therein. It also recognises that the envisaged partnership might evolve over time.

9. The Commission should aim to achieve as much as possible during the short timeframe of the transition period and should be ready to continue negotiations on any remaining issues after the end of the transition period.


10. The envisaged partnership between the Union and the United Kingdom, should be based on and refer, inter alia, to the following underlying principles and key objectives: – recognise that prosperity and security are enhanced by the rules-based international order, defending individual rights and the rule of law, high standards of protection of workers’ and consumers’ rights and of the environment, the fight against climate change, and free and fair trade; – reaffirm the Parties’ commitment to work together to safeguard these general principles, and to cooperate against internal and external threats to their values and interests; – ensure a balance of rights and obligations, and a level playing field. This balance must ensure the autonomy of the Union’s decision-making and legal order, ensure the protection of the Union’s financial interests and be consistent with the other Union principles set out in the relevant European Council guidelines, in particular with respect to the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four freedoms; – reflect the United Kingdom’s status as a non-Schengen third country, and that a non-member of the Union, that is not subject to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member.


A. Core values and rights

11. The envisaged partnership should be based on shared values and commitments, which should be expressed in the five binding political clauses (which underpin all comprehensive relationships between the Union and third countries) regarding: human rights, democracy and rule of law; non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; the fight against terrorism; prosecution of those accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community; small arms and light weapons. The respect for and safeguarding of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democratic principles, the rule of law and support for non-proliferation should constitute essential elements for the cooperation envisaged in the partnership. The fight against climate change, as elaborated in the UNFCCC process and in particular in the Paris Agreement should also constitute an essential element of the envisaged partnership. The envisaged partnership should reaffirm the Parties’ commitment to promoting effective and rule-based multilateralism.

B. Data protection

12. In view of the importance of data flows, the envisaged partnership should affirm the Parties’ commitment to ensuring a high level of personal data protection, and fully respect the Union’s personal data protection rules, including the Union’s decision-making process as regards adequacy decisions. The adoption by the Union of adequacy decisions, if the applicable conditions are met, should be an enabling factor for cooperation and exchange of information, in particular in the area of law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

2. AREAS OF SHARED INTEREST A. Participation in Union and Euratom programmes

13. The envisaged partnership should establish general principles, terms and conditions for the United Kingdom’s participation in and contribution to Union and Euratom programmes, subject to the conditions set out in the corresponding instruments, in areas such as science and innovation, youth, culture and education, development and international cooperation, defence capabilities, civil protection, space and other relevant areas when in the Union’s interest. This will include the general rules for the financing and the control and audit of the implementation of the programmes, and the appropriate consultation of the United Kingdom.

14. The envisaged partnership should ensure shared commitment to delivering a future PEACE PLUS, maintaining the current funding proportions for the future programme.

B. Dialogues

15. The envisaged partnership should provide for, as appropriate, dialogue and exchanges in areas of shared interest, with the view to identifying opportunities to cooperate, share best practice and expertise, and act together, including in areas such as culture, education, science and innovation, tourism or statistics. In these areas, the envisaged partnership should recognise the importance of mobility and temporary movement of objects and equipment in enabling cooperation and also facilitate ongoing cooperation between culture and education related groups.


16. The envisaged partnership should include an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership. This partnership should be comprehensive, encompassing a free trade agreement as well as wider sectoral cooperation where it is in the Union interest. It should be consistent with the applicable World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, notably Articles XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and ensure that all levels of government effectively comply with its provisions. It should include provisions on fisheries, as set out in Section 12 of this Part, in particular paragraph 85, and be underpinned by robust commitments ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition, as set out in Section 15 of this Part, as well as by effective management and supervision, dispute settlement and enforcement arrangements, including appropriate remedies. It should facilitate, to the extent possible, trade and investment between the Parties, while respecting the integrity of the Union’s Single Market and of its Customs Union.

17. The envisaged partnership should recognise that ensuring sustainable development is an overarching objective of the Parties. The economic partnership should ensure that the Parties retain their autonomy and the ability to regulate economic activity according to the levels of protection each deems appropriate in order to achieve legitimate public policy objectives such as public health, animal and plant health and welfare, social services, public education, safety, the environment including fight against climate change, public morals, social or consumer protection, privacy and data protection, and promotion and protection of cultural diversity and the fight against money laundering.


159. The envisaged partnership should provide for appropriate exceptions. These should include the disclosure of information related to the Parties’ security interests.

160. The envisaged partnership should address the possibility for a Party to activate temporary safeguard measures that would otherwise be in breach of its commitments in case of circumstances of significant economic, societal or environmental difficulties. This should be subject to strict conditions and include the right for the other Party to rebalancing measures. The measures taken should be subject to independent arbitration.


161. Any agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom negotiated on the basis of these negotiating directives should be without prejudice to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and to the Protocol relating to the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus.

162. Any agreement between the Union and the United Kingdom negotiated on the basis of these negotiating directives will not include Gibraltar.


163. The envisaged partnership, which should be equally authentic in all official languages of the Union, should include a language clause to that effect.


164. The Commission should conduct the negotiations in continuous coordination and permanent dialogue with the Council and its preparatory bodies. In this respect, the Council and Coreper, assisted by [name of the special committee], should provide guidance to the Commission.

165. The Commission should, in a timely manner, consult and report to the preparatory bodies of the Council. To that end, the Council should organise before and after each negotiating session a meeting of the [name of the special committee]. The Commission should provide in a timely manner all necessary information and documents relating to the negotiations.

166. The Commission should, in a timely manner, keep the European Parliament fully informed of the negotiations.

167. The Commission should conduct the negotiations in cooperation with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and in agreement with him for CFSP matters.