On February 28, the European Commission (EC) published a draft withdrawal agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The draft agreement consists of six parts and represents the EU’s attempt to reflect in a binding legal text the principles of the political agreement reached between the UK and EU in December 2017. It also sets out proposals for outstanding issues relating to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, of which the most significant include the following:

  • There shall be a transition period, to commence on the date of the draft agreement’s publication and to end on December 31, 2020, during which time EU law will apply to and in the UK;
  • During the transition period, the UK shall contribute to and participate in the implementation of the EU budgets; and
  • A common regulatory area shall be established between the EU and Northern Ireland, to which EU law on the free movement of goods shall apply.

The draft agreement will now be sent to the European Council and the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering group before being sent to the UK for negotiation.

The draft agreement is available here.