Brexit Bulletin―UK and EU exchange views on the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration ahead of meaningful vote

Brexit Bulletin―UK and EU exchange views on the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration ahead of meaningful vote

As the Lords and the Commons prepared for their delayed votes on the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the future UK/EU relationship, the Prime Minister made a final attempt to secure support for the deal, publishing correspondence with the Presidents of the European Commission and Council, setting out their respective assurances, clarifications and interpretations, with particular focus on the Northern Ireland backstop. Following previous publication of his legal advice on the issue, the Attorney General also gave an opinion, concluding that the Withdrawal Agreement represents the ‘only politically practicable and available means’ of securing the UK’s exit from the EU.

On 15 January 2019, MPs are finally due to vote on a motion approving the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration on the future UK/EU relationship agreed in principle with the EU in November 2018. The following correspondence has been published by the government:

• Letter from the Prime Minister to President Juncker and President Tusk

• Response from President Juncker and President Tusk to the Prime Minister

• Letter from the Attorney General to the Prime Minister on the Northern Ireland Protocol

The Prime Minister’s letter highlights points raised during and after the December 2018 European Council, focusing on ‘concerns in the UK Parliament’ concerning the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration. The letter focuses on concerns regarding delivery of the commitments in Northern Ireland, in particular the concern that the backstop arrangements for avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland could be triggered and subsist indefinitely. The letter sets out ‘clarifications and undertakings’ to avoid the backstop being used, for instance:

• agreement to enter negotiations on the future relationship as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement is signed

• prioritising talks on replacing the backstop with permanent

Subscription Form

Latest Articles:

Already a subscriber? Login
RELX (UK) Limited, trading as LexisNexis, and our LexisNexis Legal & Professional group companies will contact you to confirm your email address. You can manage your communication preferences via our Preference Centre. You can learn more about how we handle your personal data and your rights by reviewing our  Privacy Policy.

Access this article and thousands of others like it free by subscribing to our blog.

Read full article

Already a subscriber? Login