Brexit/EU negotiation stance

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EU Council negotiation guidelines

Scope

6. The Agreement should recall that Union law (including all primary law, in particular the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Accession Treaties and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, as well as the secondary law and international agreements) ceases to apply to the United Kingdom on the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement ("withdrawal date").

17. The Agreement should contain provisions relating to the overall governance of the Agreement. Such provisions must include effective enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms that fully respect the autonomy of the Union and of its legal order, including the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union, in order to guarantee the effective implementation of the commitments under the Agreement, as well as appropriate institutional arrangements allowing for the adoption of measures to deal with unforeseen situations not covered by the agreement and for the incorporation of future amendments to Union law in the Agreement.[1]

Transitional arrangements

19. As soon as the European Council decides that sufficient progress has been achieved to allow negotiations to proceed to the second phase, there will be new sets of negotiating directives. In this context, to the extent necessary and legally possible, matters that should be subject to transitional arrangements (i.e. bridges towards the foreseeable framework for the future relationship) and which are in the interest of the Union, will be included in those future sets of negotiating directives in the light of the progress made. Any such transitional arrangements must be clearly defined, limited in time, and subject to effective enforcement mechanisms. Should a time-limited prolongation of Union acquis be considered, this would require existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures to apply. This approach will allow an efficient allocation of the limited time that Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union imposes for the conclusion of the Agreement by avoiding the need to address the same matter several times at different phases of the negotiations.[2]

Law enforcement arrangements

34. The Agreement should provide for arrangements relating to administrative and law enforcement cooperation procedures, including verification, governed by Union law which are ongoing on the withdrawal date. Such arrangements should in particular ensure that these procedures remain governed until their completion by the relevant provisions of Union law applicable before the withdrawal date. They should also establish rules for the possible use of information and data in law enforcement investigations and criminal proceedings ongoing on the withdrawal date. They should cover both information and data received/held by United Kingdom which originates from the EU27 or Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, and information and data received/held by the EU27 or Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies which originates from the United Kingdom. They should comprise rules on the protection of personal data and classified information, including security data.[3]

D. Ongoing Union judicial and administrative procedures

35. The Agreement should provide for arrangements relating to:

a) Judicial proceedings pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union on the withdrawal date involving the United Kingdom, United Kingdom natural and/or legal persons (including preliminary references); the Court of Justice should remain competent to adjudicate in these proceedings and its rulings must be binding upon the United Kingdom;
b) Ongoing administrative procedures in the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies concerning the United Kingdom (for example infringements proceedings, state aid) or, where applicable, concerning United Kingdom natural or legal persons;
c) The possibility to commence both administrative procedures before the Union institutions and judicial proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the United Kingdom (for example infringements proceedings, state aid) after the withdrawal date for facts that have occurred before the withdrawal date, including the possibility for the UK courts or tribunals to address questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union;
d) Continued enforceability of Union acts that impose pecuniary obligations and of judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, adopted or rendered before the withdrawal date or in the course of ongoing judicial and administrative proceedings.[4]

Dispute resolution

41. The Agreement should include provisions ensuring the settlement of disputes and the enforcement of the Agreement. In particular, these should cover disputes in relation to the following matters:

—continued application of Union law;
—citizens' rights;
—application and interpretation of the other provisions of the Agreement, such as the financial settlement or measures adopted by the institutional structure to deal with unforeseen situations.

42. In these matters, the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union (and the supervisory role of the Commission) should be maintained. For the application and interpretation of provisions of the Agreement other than those relating to Union law, an alternative dispute settlement should only be envisaged if it offers equivalent guarantees of independence and impartiality to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

43. The Agreement should foresee that any reference to concepts or provisions of Union law made in the Agreement must be understood as including the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union interpreting such concepts or provisions before the withdrawal date. Moreover, to the extent an alternative dispute settlement is established for certain provisions of the Agreement, a provision according to which future case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union intervening after the withdrawal date must be taken into account in interpreting such concepts and provisions should be included.[5]

EU Commission documents

In line with the priorities outlined in the EU Council negotiation stance, the Commission’s first two papers concentrate on citizens’ rights and the exit bill.

Thus at this point, we learn nothing about any future trade relationship, nor any transitional arrangement.

EU Parliament

The Parliament passed a Resolution with its red lines for the negotiation.[6] A press release also sets out the main points.[7]

The key points for digital issues include:

Future European Union-United Kingdom relationship

… 22. Believes that the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom should be balanced and comprehensive and should serve the interests of the citizens of both parties, and will therefore need sufficient time to be negotiated; stresses that it should cover areas of common interest while respecting the integrity of the European Union’s legal order and the fundamental principles and values of the Union, including the integrity of the internal market as well as the decision-making capacity and autonomy of the Union; notes that Article 8 of the Treaty on European Union, as well as Article 217 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which provides for ‘establishing an association involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedures’, could provide an appropriate framework for such a future relationship;

24. Stresses that any future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom is conditional on the United Kingdom’s continued adherence to the standards provided by international obligations, including human rights, and the Union’s legislation and policies, in, among others, the fields of the environment, climate change, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, fair competition, trade and social rights, especially safeguards against social dumping;

25. Opposes any future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom that would contain piecemeal or sectorial provisions, including with respect to financial services, providing United Kingdom-based undertakings with preferential access to the internal market and/or the customs union; underlines that after its withdrawal the United Kingdom will fall under the third-country regime provided for in Union legislation;

26. Notes that if the United Kingdom asks to participate in certain European Union programmes it will be as a third country, entailing appropriate budgetary contributions and oversight by the existing jurisdiction; would welcome, in this context, the United Kingdom’s continued participation in a number of programmes, such as Erasmus;[8]

Transitional arrangements

28. Believes that transitional arrangements ensuring legal certainty and continuity can only be agreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom if they contain the right balance of rights and obligations for both parties and preserve the integrity of the European Union’s legal order, with the Court of Justice of the European Union responsible for settling any legal challenges; believes, moreover, that any such arrangements must also be strictly limited both in time – not exceeding three years – and in scope, as they can never be a substitute for European Union membership;[9]

EU articles on relationships with third countries

Article 8, Treaty on European Union

1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.

2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.[10]

Article 217, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

The Union may conclude with one or more third countries or international organisations agreements establishing an association involving reciprocal rights and obligations, common action and special procedure.[11]

External links

References

  1. Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives EU Council, 22 May 2017
  2. Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives EU Council, 22 May 2017
  3. Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives EU Council, 22 May 2017
  4. Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives EU Council, 22 May 2017
  5. Council (Art 50) authorises the start of Brexit talks and adopts negotiating directives EU Council, 22 May 2017
  6. European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union, European Parliament 5 April 2017
  7. Red lines on Brexit negotiations EU Parliament, 6 April 2017
  8. European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union, paragraph 22-26; European Parliament 5 April 2017
  9. European Parliament resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union, paragraph 28; European Parliament 5 April 2017
  10. Article 8, Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union
  11. Article 217 (ex Article 310 TEC) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union