19 Mar 2018


Brexit, Brussels Daily

Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community highlighting the progress made (coloured version) in the negotiation round with the UK of 16-19 March 2018.   Read draft agreement here

Origin: European Commission, Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 TEU. Objective: Sent to the EU27 Member States, to the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament and published on the TF50 website on 19 March 2018.


The draft Withdrawal Agreement of 19 March 2018 includes agreed legal text for the implementation period, citizens’ rights, and the financial settlement, as well as a significant number of other articles. The UK and the EU negotiating teams aim to finalise the entire Withdrawal Agreement by October.

Remarks: In green, the text is agreed at negotiators’ level and will only be subject to technical legal revisions in the coming weeks.

In yellow, the text is agreed on the policy objective but drafting changes or clarifications are still required. In white, the text corresponds to text proposed by the Union on which discussions are ongoing as no agreement has yet been found.


The negotiators have reached agreement on some elements of the draft Protocol. They further agree

that the full set of issues related to avoiding a hard border covered in the draft reflect those that

need to be addressed in any solution. There is as yet no agreement on the right operational

approach, but the negotiators agree to engage urgently in the process of examination of all relevant

matters announced on 14 March and now under way.

David Davis’ statement: EU-UK Article 50 negotiations Brussels, Monday 19 March 2018

Thank you Michel, both for your words and for your kind words about our team.

In December we reached an important milestone by achieving agreement on the first phase of negotiations.

And today, we’ve taken another significant step by reaching agreement on the next phase.

Which I am confident will be welcomed by the European Council when it meets later this week.

Our teams have worked hard and at pace to secure the terms of a time-limited implementation period that gives the certainty demanded by businesses and citizens across the European Union and United Kingdom.

And at this point I’d like to join Michel in commending both our negotiating teams for their skill, their commitment and from time to time their ability to go without sleep.

In my speech in Teesport in January, I set out a framework for delivering a bridge to the future.

One that sees the UK formally leave the European Union on the 29th of March. Which gives everyone time they need to prepare for the future, by ensuring our access to each other’s markets continues on current terms.

The deal we’ve reached today does just that.

As Michel outlined we’ve taken a decisive step by translating much of December’s Joint Report into the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement.

In only a few weeks we have managed to finalise the chapters on the financial settlement and citizens’ rights — delivering on our commitment to provide certainty to citizens.

So let me take each point in turn, starting with the implementation period.

Throughout this process, one message has been clear from businesses in the United Kingdom and across the European Union — that they need to be able to plan for the future with confidence.

Businesses need not delay investment decisions, or rush through contingency plans based on guesses about the future deal.

Instead they now have certainty about the terms that will apply immediately after our withdrawal.

Meaning that they can continue to operate and invest with confidence, as the design of our future partnership with the European Union becomes clear.

And this is true across the whole United Kingdom family — because the territorial scope of the Withdrawal Agreement makes clear it includes Gibraltar.

We continue with our positive dialogue with the Spanish on how we improve cooperation in the future.

Platform for the future

The implementation period is not only about providing certainty in the short term. It’s also about beginning life outside the European Union, serving as a platform on which we build our future relationship.

Which is why, as Michel said, the United Kingdom will be able to step out, sign and ratify new trade deals with old friends — and new allies — around the globe for the first time in more than 40 years

These will come into force when the implementation period is over.

Providing new opportunities for businesses across the United Kingdom and seizing one of Brexit’s greatest opportunities.

International agreements

And during this period, we have agreed those international agreements which arise from our European Union membership continue to apply as now.

This provides further certainty for businesses, who can be confident there will be no disruption to their existing trade relationship as we leave the European Union


To ensure our agreement is faithfully and fully implemented we are establishing a Joint Committee made up of representatives from the United Kingdom and the European Union.

This committee will provide a way to resolve concerns as they arise.

And will be underpinned by a clear commitment from both sides to act in good faith.

One of the key objectives I set out in my Teesport speech was that the United Kingdom would be able to make its voice heard during this period and ensure our interests are protected.

This delivers on that objective.


We’ve also agreed specific safeguards when it comes to annual fishing negotiations.

These arrangements will only apply for the negotiations in 2019, since we will still be a Member State for those that take place at the end of this year.

Through 2020 we will be negotiating fishing opportunities as an independent coastal state, deciding who can access our waters and on what terms.

For the year where it is relevant, we have agreed the European Union will have to consult us ahead of the negotiations.

And the United Kingdom’s share of the total catch cannot be changed, protecting the interests of the United Kingdom fishing community.

Foreign policy and defence collaboration

The final way in which the implementation period serves as a platform for the future is in foreign and defence policy.

As recent events demonstrate, close cooperation with our allies is central to standing up for a rules-based international order.

So when it comes to foreign policy and defence collaboration, we have set out a plan for an ambitious partnership.

One that goes beyond the relationship the European Union has with any other third country.

And I know this desire is shared by our European Union partners.

The deal we have reached today envisages us moving to that partnership at the soonest possible moment.

And in the intervening period, our valued cooperation will continue.

However, as is the case today there may be occasions when our vital national policy means we cannot agree with European Union decision.

In those cases the United Kingdom could choose not to apply it.

Wider progress on the Withdrawal Agreement

Securing an implementation period, with these key flexibilities, is a major achievement.

And if it was all we had achieved since December I’d be proud of my team.

But in addition we have made rapid progress across the wider Withdrawal Agreement — reaching agreement on much of the legal text, and locking down entire chapters on citizens’ rights and the financial settlement.

Most importantly this means that, just as we’re giving certainty to businesses, we’re also providing the same for citizens.

And in doing so we’ve reached agreement on the package that should apply to those who arrive during the implementation period itself.

A few weeks ago, we proposed a pathway to settlement for EU citizens, which was welcomed by Member States.

Today we have delivered on the spirit of this offer, and also made it reciprocal, using the December deal as the basis.

In doing so, we have made sure the voluntary reference mechanism we agreed in December will start when we leave in March 2019 for any challenges relating to applications for settled status.

The reference mechanism relating to other rights, such as social security, which are only relevant after the implementation period, will begin in December 2020.

Northern Ireland and Ireland

Of course, there are areas where there is more to do before we can finalise the agreement as a whole — one of which is Northern Ireland.

Make no mistake — both the United Kingdom and the European Union are committed to the Joint Report in its entirety.

And in keeping with that commitment, we agree on the need to include legal text detailing the ‘backstop’ solution for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement that is acceptable to both sides.

But it remains our intention to achieve a partnership that is so close as to not require specific measures in relation to Northern Ireland, and therefore we will engage in detail on all the scenarios set out in the Joint Report.

We have also reached consensus on the full set of issues which need to be addressed in any solution in order to avoid a hard border, which is why, last week, we set out a work programme to tackle them.

There are also some elements of the draft protocol — such as the Common Travel Area — on which we agree.

So while there is as yet no agreement on the right operational approach, we know what we need to do — and we’re going to get on with it.


In December, we set out a shared ambition to reach agreement on the implementation period as soon as possible.

Today we have achieved that ambition, thanks to the hard work and late nights of both our dedicated teams.

Now, alongside progressing the outstanding issues in the Withdrawal Agreement, our attention must turn to the future.

In Munich and at Mansion House, the Prime Minister set out a powerful vision. One which will ensure our economic and security cooperation reflects our unique starting point and our shared history.

My job and that of my team is to deliver on that vision — and in doing so, we must seize the moment and carry forward the momentum of the past few weeks.

The deal we have struck today, on top of that agreed in December, should give us confidence that a good deal for the United Kingdom and the European Union is closer than ever before.

In a letter to President Donald Tusk, the Therese May writes to confirm her support for the progress made in the UK’s negotiations to leave the European Union, including agreement on the detailed legal framework for the implementation period, citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, and other aspects of our orderly withdrawal from the European Union. Read letter here

Press statement by Michel Barnier following the latest round of Article 50 negotiations

Brussels, 19 March 2018
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very happy to see you all here today  in this room, along with David Davis, after intensive negotiations in Brussels over the past few days and even nights. And I want, at the beginning of this briefing, to personally thank the members of our two delegations who worked hard under the coordination of Sabine Weyand and Olly Robbins. I also want to personally commend the commitment and skill of the entire UK trading team.
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is, as I have already said several times, towards an international agreement that we are working on, between the United Kingdom and the European Union, with the precision, thoroughness and legal certainty that is attached to any international agreement . What we are presenting to you today with David is a joint legal text which I consider a decisive step, since we have agreed this morning, and after these long days of work, on a large part of this which will constitute the international agreement for the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom. A decisive step remains a step. We are not at the end of the road. We still have a lot of work to do on important topics, particularly Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is this decisive step that I will speak on Friday, at the invitation of President Donald Tusk,

alongside Jean-Claude Juncker, at the European Council.
Before that, I will meet tomorrow with the Ministers of the 27 Member States on whose behalf I am negotiating on the occasion of the General Affairs Council. Tomorrow I will also meet the Brexit steering group of the European Parliament. On Wednesday, at the invitation of Jean-Claude Juncker, I will make an update to the European Commission. But it is the European Council Friday that will evaluate and judge the state of the negotiations. And for my part, I will continue, on behalf of the Union, to report regularly on this negotiation, in full transparency.


It is with this transparency that we published, on February 28th, a complete draft withdrawal agreement, which, of course, we first discussed with the Member States and the European Parliament.

And on March 15, two weeks later – just two weeks, we revised and consolidated this draft agreement after incorporating the comments of the Member States and the European Parliament.



Ladies and gentlemen,It is on this draft agreement that we have, in the last few days, continued and intensified the work between the British team and our team.We have just published this morning, together with the United Kingdom, a new version of this project in three colors, and I would now like to symbolically show you what the whole text gives:• in green, the points which have now been the subject of a formal agreement between the negotiators;• in yellow, the points on which we have reached a political agreement but which must be clarified in the coming weeks;• in white, the text proposed by the Union, our text, on which we must continue the discussion, either because we have disagreements or differences, or because we need more time to get to the bottom of things .I want to make four observations on this text:

1/ Nos discussions ces derniers jours ont permis de trouver un accord complet, je dis bien complet, sur la traduction juridique des points agréés en décembre sur les droits des citoyens et le règlement financier. Cela nous permet de rassurer:

• First, the 4.5 million citizens, British and European, concerned and worried about Brexit. It is these citizens who have been our priority since the first day – and that of the European Parliament and the Member States.• And also to reassure all the promoters and beneficiaries of projects financed by the European budget during the period 2014-2020.



For citizens, we are proposing in this text today an additional option, with the possibility of obtaining the new residency status in the United Kingdom, from the beginning of the transition period.And this option will allow citizens who so wish, to have immediate legal certainty on their right of residence after the transition period.2 / We found an agreement on the transitional period on which the December European Council reached an agreement in principle following the request of Theresa May in her Florence speech.The transition will be of limited duration as desired by the UK Government and the European Union.


During this period, the United Kingdom will no longer participate in the decision-making process of the European Union simply because it will no longer be a Member State on 30 March 2019.It will, however, retain all the advantages and benefits of the single market, the customs union, and European policies, and will therefore also have to comply with all European rules, just like the Member States.We are committed to working during this period in good faith and to continuing to respect the principle of loyal cooperation.Finally, we agree that British citizens and European citizens of the 27 who will arrive during the transition period, enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before Brexit Day.




Ladies and gentlemen,I would also remind you that the time of the transition requested by the United Kingdom will obviously be a useful time, very useful, for the British administration, for British companies, to prepare for the future, for example by using this time for negotiate agreements with third countries during this period.This time will also facilitate our own preparation on the European side.And finally, this time of transition will be the one during which we will have to finalize our future relationship. It is a short time, and therefore this negotiation on our future partnership will be intense and demanding.Our intention is to move as quickly as possible and start, as soon as I have the mandate through the guidelines of the European Council, on all topics of the future relationship in parallel. And I think it is possible, personally, for us to agree in particular, during this period, on a future ambitious partnership on foreign and external security policy.3 / On the other subjects of separation:



I want to highlight the progress that has been made on such points as the finalization of customs procedures, the circulation of products and their surveillance, the United Kingdom’s nuclear commitments and the protection of European brands.• On the other hand, negotiations will have to continue on other issues of separation, which are not insignificant, in particular geographical indications, data protection and automatic recognition of judgments. 4 / We have yet to move forward – I said we are not at the end of the road – on two points of difference of the first importance: the governance of the withdrawal agreement and issues related to Ireland and North Ireland.• On the governance of the withdrawal agreemento We first confirmed the agreed solution in December for the rights of citizens. This point is settled.o But we still have to establish governance on all other issues of the withdrawal agreement

  • On Ireland and Northern Ireland, we must have a workable and practical solution to avoid a hard border and protect North-South cooperation.

The EU and the UK agreed to include in the withdrawal agreement text published today a note on how the Irish issues will be dealt with.

We have agreed the following:


  1. Both sides remain committed to December’s Joint Report in all its aspects – all.
  2. We have agreed that all the issues identified in the EU text must be addressed for finding a viable and legally soundsolution.
  3. In particular, we agreed today that a backstop solution must form part of the legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement.
  4. We have also agreed on some elements of the Protocol, notably those related to the Common Travel Area and North-South cooperation.

As I said several times, the backstop will apply unless and until another solution is found.

This is what I also discussed this morning with the Tánaiste Simon Coveney.

We are ready to look at all options which allow us to meet our objectives, in a constructive way.

This is what I have underlined, on the same terms, in my recent meetings with the leaders of Sinn Féin, the Democratic Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionist Party.

Ireland and Northern Ireland form a distinct strand within the framework of the negotiations of the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU. I repeat within the framework of the withdrawal.

In this context, we have agreed with the UK on a detailed agenda for discussions over the coming weeks.


Ladies and gentlemen,In conclusion, I want to reiterate that we have made these last days an essential part of the path to an orderly withdrawal that we are working on, from which I have been working since the first day of this mission.We will continue, keeping in mind that all the points I just mentioned are part of the same agreement and will therefore have to be agreed together. I would add that legal certainty on all these points, including the transition, which is part of this agreement, will come only with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement on both sides.Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.On the side of the Union, it is now up to the Member States to evaluate this progress, when we adopt at the end of this week the guidelines that will allow us to start, in parallel, to discuss with the United Kingdom as part of our future relationship and future partnership.For its part, in the light of its recent and different resolutions, the European Parliament will also evaluate this progress.Thank you for your attention.

Copyright 2020 © - The Irish Farmers Association - Web Design Dublin by Big Dog