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Negotiation process


Phase one

In accordance with the guidelines approved by the European Council on 29 April 2017, phase one focused on citizens' rights, the financial settlement ("divorce bill"), the border with Northern Ireland and other issues relating to the separation.

Phase two

15 December 2017. The European Council confirmed that enough progress had been made in phase one and established the guidelines for phase two of the negotiations.

29 January 2018. The European Council approved the negotiation guidelines for phase two, specifying the position of the EU-27 on the transition period.

14 November 2018. The European Commission recommended the European Council to conclude that decisive progress had been made in the negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom and allow negotiations to end to begin the next steps in the process. The negotiators also reached an agreement on the outline of the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship.

25 November 2018. The European Council (Article 50) endorsed the negotiated text on the Withdrawal Agreement and adopted the Political Declaration on the Future Relationship, together with other declarations annexed to the minutes.

On 15 January, and then on 12 and 29 March 2019, the British Parliament voted against the Withdrawal Agreement.

For its part, the European Council approved successive extensions to the term of Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU to facilitate the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The European Council on 21 March 2019 approved an extension until 22 May 2019, conditional upon the House of Commons approving the Withdrawal Agreement the week after said European Council. In the event that the House of Commons did not approve the Withdrawal Agreement that week, the European Council approved an extension until 12 April 2019.

However, following the vote against the Withdrawal Agreement by the British Parliament on 29 March 2019, an Extraordinary European Council was held on 10 April 2019, at which an extension to Article 50 of the Treaty on the EU was agreed until 31 October 2019. Even if the agreement were ratified before this date, the withdrawal would still take place on the first day of the following month.

At the European Council held on 21 June 2019, which addressed the issue of Brexit, it was agreed to work with the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to avoid a disorderly Brexit.

As a result of negotiations between the negotiators of the European Union and of the United Kingdom in the months of September and October 2019, an agreement was reached on a revised test of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland included in the Withdrawal Agreement and on the necessary technical adaptations to Articles 184 and 185 of this Agreement, as well as on a revised text of the Political Declaration.

On 17 October 2019, the European Council endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement, amending and approving the revised text of the Political Declaration.

On 19 October 2019, the United Kingdom presented an application for an extension to the term provided for in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on the EU until 31 January 2020.

On 29 October 2019, the European Council agreed to a new extension of the term provided for in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on the EU until 31 January 2020.

On 24 January 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom signed the Withdrawal Agreement. After the favourable vote from the European Parliament on 29 January 2020 and the Council Decision relating to the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement on 30 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force on 1 February 2020.


Negotiations on the future relationship.

The transition period contained in the Withdrawal Agreement grants a period of time until 31 December 2020 to negotiate the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The framework of this future relationship will be set out in the political declaration agreed by the two parties in October 2019.