Following agreement reached in the early hours today on the Irish border issue, the negotiators have agreed that sufficient progress has now been made on the first phase of the negotiations in order to move on to the next phase which will cover preliminary and preparatory discussions on the framework for a future relationship.
The President of the European Council is recommending to the other Member States conclusions to this effect and proposes guidelines for the negotiation of the transitional arrangements which will involve the UK staying in the Single Market and Customs Union without a voice.
As for the “future relationship”, it is proposed that this will be the subject of a later recommendation. In the meantime, preparatory internal discussions are to continue and the UK is called upon to clarify its intentions. It is envisaged that the framework will be elaborated in a political declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement.
A Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK on progress during the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations was published today and is available here.
The report sets out the detail of the agreement in principle reached on the three main areas of the withdrawal negotiations on which sufficient progress was required:
- Protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU
- A framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland
- The financial settlement
The report also refers to progress on other separation issues such as the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom, ongoing judicial and administrative procedures, cooperation in civil and commercial matters and police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.