Brexit Bulletin—Commission establishes new taskforce to oversee EU-UK relationship

Brexit Bulletin—Commission establishes new taskforce to oversee EU-UK relationship

The European Commission has established a new Service for the EU-UK Agreements (UKS) ‘to support the efficient and rigorous implementation and monitoring of the Agreements with the UK’, replacing the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF). Having fulfilled its ‘very successful mandate’ with the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UKFT will cease to exist on 1 March 2021. The newly established UKS, whose instruction and term will be assessed on an ongoing basis, will then assume responsibility for future UK-EU relations. Forming part of the presidential services' Secretariat-General, the UKS will be in close co-operation with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP), Josep Borrell. Former head of the UKFT, Michel Barnier, will become Special Adviser to Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, as of 1 February 2021, while Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, has been appointed as the Member of the Commission to co-chair and represent the EU in the Partnership Council, established by the TCA. Meanwhile, on the UK side, reassignments are also underway.

What’s next?

The UKS will be operational as of 1 March 2021—the day the UKFT ceases to exist—with its mandate and duration being reviewed ‘on a continuous basis’. ‘Closely’ cooperating with the newly established service will be the HR/VP, Josep Borrell.

Set-to-become Special Adviser to President von der Leyen on 1 February 2021, Michel Barnier, will continue to advise President von der Leyen on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and provide expertise in view of the finalisation of the EU's ratification process of the TCA.

Appointed as the Member of the Commission to co-chair and represent the European Union in the Partnership Council, Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, has committed to working ‘tirelessly to ensure [the Withdrawal Agreement and TCA] letter and spirit work well on the ground’.

For further detail, see: UKTF.

On the UK side, reassignments are also underway with Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby being appointed Head of the UK Mission to the European Union (UKMis), succeeding Sir Tim Barrow who led the group throughout the Brexit transition. Commenting on the appointment, Foreign Secretary Dominic

Raab said: ‘As we begin a new chapter in our relationship with the EU, I am delighted to appoint Lindsay as head of UKMis.’

For further detail, see: UKMis.


• European Commission—Press release: College meeting: European Commission reorganises the “Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom” into the “Service for the EU-UK Agreements”

• Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office—Press release: Change of United Kingdom Head of Mission to the European Union: Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby

For further detail, see: LNB News 21/01/2021 113.

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About the author:
Mikaela is a Paralegal in the Lexis®PSL Public Law team. She read law at King’s College London and obtained her LLM from University College London. With legal knowledge and experience in multiple jurisdictions and practice areas, and a special interest in international commercial law, Mikaela has comprehensive knowledge of the legal sector’s needs. 

Since joining the Lexis®PSL Public Law team in 2019, Mikaela’s primary focus has been closely monitoring legal developments in the context of Brexit. She also provides support on related subjects and content areas including Local Government and Information Law. Mikaela is involved in LNUK Thrive Wellbeing and Gender Equality Matters working groups and is a member of the LexisNexis Brexit Steering Group.