The Guide to Brexit negotiations in 2020

Even if the European Union and the United Kingdom conclude a highly ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed in the Political Declaration by the end of 2020, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU acquis, the internal market and the Customs Union, at the end of the transition period will inevitably create barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that do not exist today. There will be broad and far-reaching consequences for public administrations, businesses and citizens as of 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of negotiations. These changes are unavoidable and stakeholders must make sure they are ready for them.

When are these EU-UK negotiating rounds and where do they take place?

What's on their agenda's?

Agenda Round 1

Agenda Round 2

Agenda Round 3

What are the EU's negotiating objectives?

The EU's negotiating objectives s for a new partnership with the United Kingdom define the scope and terms of the future partnership that the European Union envisages with the United Kingdom.

The negotiating directives were adopted by the EU Council of Ministers on 25 February 2020. They are based on the draft recommendation put forward by the Commission on 3 February 2020. I have summarized them here.

These directives cover all areas of interest for the negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence, participation in Union programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation. A dedicated chapter on governance provides an outline for an overall governance framework covering all areas of economic and security cooperation.

How many Negotiating Groups are there?

  1. Trade in Goods

  2. Trade in Services and Investment and other issues

  3. Level Playing Field for open and fair competition

  4. Transport

  5. Energy and Civil Nuclear Cooperation

  6. Fisheries

  7. Mobility and Social Security Coordination

  8. Law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

  9. Thematic Cooperation 10. Participation in Union Programmes

  10. Horizontal arrangements and governance

What Readiness Notices have been published by the EU Commission?


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