General Affairs Council (Art. 50), 18/09/2018
The Commission’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief the Council, meeting in EU 27 format, on the Brexit talks with the UK.
Ministers will discuss the state of play of the negotiations, concerning both the completion of the work on withdrawal issues and the discussions on the framework for future relations with the UK.
The Council will also begin preparations for the next meeting of the European Council (Article 50) on 18 October 2018. Ministers will look at the annotated draft agenda for the summit.
All the withdrawal issues need to be covered in the withdrawal agreement, which should be agreed in good time in order to be ratified before the withdrawal date of 29 March 2019. Some parts of the draft withdrawal agreement have already been agreed in principle by the UK and the EU negotiators, although nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
There are still parts of the withdrawal agreement that require further negotiation. One of them is the issue of how to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Other outstanding issues include the overall governance and dispute settlement of the withdrawal agreement, the protection of data and geographical indications.
An agreement on a future relationship can only be negotiated and concluded once the UK has become a third country. However, an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship will be set out in a political declaration accompanying and referred to in the withdrawal agreement.