Wednesday 28 February 2018

Brexit - Draft Withdrawal Agreement (No.1)

The text of the DRAFT Withdrawal Agreement has been published by the EU Commission - see European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.

This 120 Page document is packed with detail.  The draft divides into 6 Parts plus Protocols relating to Ireland / Northern Ireland and also to Cyprus.  A Table of Contents is at page 111.

If this document becomes the Withdrawal Agreement - remember it is a DRAFT at the moment - then it will come into force on 30th March 2019.  Part 4 of the draft deals with Transition and the transition period will end on 31st December 2020 - (Art 121).  During the transition period, Union law will be applicable to and in the UK unless the agreement provides otherwise (Art 122). 

The draft agreement follows on from the Joint Report of 8th December 2017 which was considered in posts of  9th December (Citizens' Rights), 9th December (Ireland and Northern Ireland), 10th December (The Money!), and 10th December (Euratom and other points).   The Joint Report recorded the progress made in Phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations and recorded the three areas where agreement had been reached in principle - Citizens' Rights; Northern Ireland and The Financial Settlement.

Part 1 Common Provisions comprises Articles 2 to 7.  Article 2 defines the terms "Union Law", "Member States", "Union Citizen" and "United Kingdom National" and also states that the "transition period" means the period provided in Article 121.  Article 3 Territorial Scope - states that, unless otherwise provided, any reference to the United Kingdom or its territory is to be understood as applying to the UK and also the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar ad the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and also to overseas countries and territories listed in Annex II to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).  Article 4 - deals with methods and principles relating to the effect, the implementation and the application of the Agreement including (4.1) Where this agreement provides for the application of Union law in the UK, it shall produce in respect of and in the UK the same legal effects as those which it produces within the Union and its Member States.  Article 5 References to Union Law - provides that, with the exception of Parts 4 and 5, references to Union Law are to be understood as references to Union law as applicable on the last day of the transition period.  Article 6 References to Member States - for the purposes of the agreement, all references to Member States in provisions of Union Law made applicable by the agreement are to be read as including the UK - but some exceptions apply.  Article 7 - at the end of the transition period, the UK is cut off from access to any network or information system or any database established on the basis of Union law.

Further Analysis to follow.

EU Commission materials:


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