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Dolores Utrilla
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31st January 2020
External Relations & Trade Institutional law

Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration now official

Today, five non-legislative acts concerning the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community have been published in the Official Journal.

Withdrawal Agreement and Council Decision on its conclusion

The final text of the Withdrawal Agreement, signed in Brussels and London on 24 January 2020, as well as Council Decision (EU) 2020/135 on the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement, adopted yesterday, have been published. This Council Decision details the role to be played by the Commission, the Parliament, and the Council itself in the implementation of the Agreement. It also foresees that Council may, under certain conditions, authorise the UK to express its consent, in its own capacity, to be bound by an international agreement intended to enter into force or be applied during the transition period, in an area of exclusive competence of the EU. Particular reference is made to the role of Ireland, the Republic of Cyprus, and the Kingdom of Spain, respectively, which may request authorisation from the Council to negotiate bilateral agreements with the UK in areas of exclusive competence of the EU, under certain conditions. According to the Notice on the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, also published in today’s Official Journal, the Agreement will enter into force on 1 February 2020 in accordance with its Article 185(1).

Declaration on possible refusals to comply with EAWs from the UK: Germany, Austria and Slovenia

The EU’s Declaration in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 185 of the Withdrawal Agreement  has been published. Through this instrument the EU declares that three Member States (Germany, Austria, and Slovenia) may refuse to surrender their respective nationals to the United Kingdom if  a European Arrest Warrant is issued during the transition period (in addition to the usual grounds for refusing to do so).

Political Declaration

Finally, in the C Section of the Official Journal today the Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom was published. This Declaration, agreed by the EU and the UK, sets the parameters for a future relationship of cooperation, rooted in the values and interests shared by the two parties, and based on a balance of rights and obligations that ensures the autonomy of the EU’s decision-making and the sovereignty of the UK.

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