The constant bombardment of facts and opinions about the Brexit negotiations can make it difficult to understand exactly what's going on and how it's likely to affect your business. To help you get your head around it, here's an objective summary of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, published on 14th November.
The United Kingdom and the European Union negotiating teams reached an agreement in principle on the Withdrawal Agreement. The terms of the UK’s departure on 29 March 2019 have been established, providing a smooth exit and orderly transition to the future relationship for people, businesses and organisations across our country.
You can read a Withdrawal Agreement explainer and Technical Explanatory note on Articles 6-8 on the Northern Ireland Protocol in full here.
In essence, the Withdrawal Agreement provides for:
- a deal on citizens’ rights that protects the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU;
- separation provisions that wind down certain arrangements, for example cooperation on civil court cases still ongoing at the end of the implementation perioda time-limited implementation period that provides certainty
- to businesses and individuals and ensures they only have to adjust to one set of changes in line with the future relationship with the EU;
- arrangements on the financial settlement that represent a fair settlement of the UK’s rights and obligations as a departing Member State;
- governance arrangements that provide legal certainty and clarity to citizens, businesses and organisations and respect the autonomy and integrity of both the UK’s and the EU’s legal orders;
- the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland, including the continuation of the Common Travel Area arrangements, the ongoing protection of rights of individuals in Northern Ireland, and guarantees that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland or a splitting of the UK customs territory
- maintaining the UK’s international commitments in respect of the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs), protecting the interests of Cypriots living and working in the SBAs and ensuring the continued effective operation of the SBAs for military purposes; and a Protocol on Gibraltar that address issues of importance to citizens and businesses in Spain and Gibraltar
This policy paper outlines progress on the UK’s exit from, and future relationship with, the European Union.
The two sides have also agreed an outline of the Political Declaration on the future relationship, which sets out the broad structure, scope and objectives for the UK’s future partnership with the EU. Negotiations will now continue to finalise the full Political Declaration for review by the Prime Minister, and the leaders of the EU27.