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EU Preparations for Brexit

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The EU has a new section on their website containing information about what happens in various areas of EU law and policy resulting from Brexit and defines the reduction in co-operation between EU member States and the UK.


The information is provided to prepare citizens and stakeholders for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a formal ratified agreement and sets out the consequences in a range of policy areas.

Topics covered include:

  • Preparedness Notices

    Notices from European Commission departments on how Brexit would change law and policy in their areas of work.

  • Legislative Initiatives

    Proposed legislative measures to ensure the the future EU27 framework is operational after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

  • Other Activities

    Additional administrative and technical work to prepare for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

Preparedness Notices

Notices from the departments of the European Commission on the legal and practical implications of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union are available at:


Unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date or the European Council, in accordance with Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union and in agreement with the United Kingdom, unanimously decides that the Treaties cease to apply at a later date, all Union primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019, 00:00h CET (29 March 11:00 pm GMT)

The United Kingdom will then become a third country.

The notices, which aim at preparing citizens and stakeholders for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without a formal ratified agreement, set out the consequences in a range of policy areas.

Notices have been prepared in the following areas:

In addition, EU decentralised agencies have published information in relation to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU,

Community Plant Variety Office,

European Chemicals Agency,

European Medicines Agency

European Supervisory Authorities have also issued opinions and guidance.

European Banking Authority,

Single Supervisory Mechanism

Legislative Initiatives

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union implies the need to make sure that the future EU27 legal framework is and remains fully operational after the withdrawal. The proposed measures are specific, limited and targeted at remedying the negative impact of a disorderly withdrawal or at enabling the necessary adaptation of the legislation.


Other Activities

Additional administrative and technical work to prepare for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.

Financial services: European Commission and HM Treasury ask the European Central Bank and the Bank of England to convene a technical working group on risk management in the period around 30 March 2019 in the area of financial services


EU Withdrawal Bill – House of Commons 20 June 2018

MPs continued debating the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday 20 June 2018, following its return from the House of Lords as part of the “ping-pong” stage.

The outstanding point of contention was the Lords amendment to give parliament a “meaningful vote“.

The argument is about what should happen in the following cases:

MPs reject the final Brexit deal


Theresa May announces before 21 Jan 2019 that no deal has been reached


21 Jan 2019 passes without a deal being agreed

If one of these occurs, the Government has said a minister will make a statement in Parliament, setting out the proposed next steps which MPs will vote on. The Lords’ amendment suggests that MPs should have to “approve” the minister’s statement.

David Davis issued a Government statement explaining that it would ultimately be up to the Speaker to decide whether MPs could amend the Government’s plans if no deal is reached by 21 January. Dominic Grieve then announced he would no longer be backing his amendment and that he would “accept the Government’s difficulty” and support the Government.

After a short debate the vote was

303 in favour of the amendment (ayes) with 319 against the amendment (noes) giving a majority of 16 against the amendment.

6 Conservative MPs voted “for” the amendment

Heidi Allen (South Cambridgeshire)
Mr Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe)
Dr Phillip Lee (Bracknell)
Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)
Anna Soubry (Broxtowe)
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

4 Labour MPs voted with the Government “against” the amendment

Frank Field (Birkenhead)
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
John Mann (Bassetlaw)
Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton)

The Bill is now returned to the House of Lords, now one step closer to being enshrined as Law.

EU Negotiation Documents – Catchup

Catching up on various papers and slides published by the EU since May22 2018 related to the Brexit negotiations

Slide on customs controls

date: 22 May 2018

This slide highlights the checks and controls that need to be carried out on goods entering, transiting or leaving the customs territory of the European Union. These controls are carried out by customs authorities, in close cooperation with other competent authorities, at the external border of the European Union. This slide also shows what checks and controls are not required if there is a customs union between the EU and a third country.

N.B.: Note that in the case of a customs union, the levying of customs duties is removed and proof of free circulation is required instead of rules of origin. All other checks and controls are still necessary. This is indicated in red in the below slide.


Slides on UK technical note on temporary customs arrangements.

date: 11 June 2018

These slides present an analysis of the ‘Technical Note: temporary customs arrangement’ published by the United Kingdom on 7 June 2018.


Infographic on the EU’s “backstop” proposal

date: 11 June 2018

This infographic presents a visual summary of the ‘Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’, which is part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19 March 2018.

The ‘Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’ operationalises in legal terms the agreement reached in the Joint Report of 8 December 2017 and the commitments undertaken by PM May in her letter to European Council President Donald Tusk of 19 March 2018


Involvement in the EU’s space-related activities (slides)

date: 13 June 2018

These slides summarise the possibilities for involvement of third countries in EU space-related activities, including Galileo, and provide a comparison with UK positions.


Foreign, security and defence policy (slides)

date: 15 June 2018

Slides on foreign, security and defence policy

These slides provide a comparison with UK positions


Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

date: 18 June 2018

Slides on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

These slides provide a comparison with UK positions.


Speech by Michel Barnier at EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

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Michel Barnier made the following speech at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna, on 19 June 2018.

Vienna, 19 June 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me first thank the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and its Director Michael O’Flaherty, for this invitation.

Over the past 10 years, this Agency has contributed to the area of justice, freedom and security in the European Union.

  • This is an area with one external – but no internal – border.
  • This is an area where security is protected by common rules and operational cooperation between police and judicial authorities, notably extradition, border controls, travel visas, immigration and asylum policies.
  • This is an area where people – both EU and non-EU citizens alike – see their fundamental rights respected. And where the European Court of Justice plays an indispensable role in the protection of our rights.

The delicate balance between security and freedom has been tested and will be tested.

  • By the series of terrorist attacks that have hit our streets, concert halls, stadiums, bars and restaurants. People have been killed and our freedoms have been attacked. Let’s not forget.
  • By the increasing cyber-attacks targeting our economy and our democracy.
  • By other internal and external threats, such as radicalisation and organised crime.

These threats are common to European countries. And they call for European responses, including with the UK. After each attack – in Manchester, London, in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Stockholm and Barcelona – our countries knew that they could count on the solidarity of their neighbours. And this solidarity contributed to avoiding more attacks, thanks to our close cooperation and swift information exchanges.