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Technical note on the exchange and protection of classified information

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, and sets out the UK’s position on the technical arrangements necessary for the exchange and protection of classified information between the UK and the EU.


The UK wants to build a new, deep and special partnership with the EU. Both the UK and the EU agree that arrangements allowing the exchange of classified information will be key to building this partnership. These arrangements should codify the depth of trust between the UK and the EU and facilitate common analysis, help inform operational planning and deliver cutting-edge capabilities.

The exchange of classified information is fundamental to cooperation across the future partnership, especially in relation to security, but also in the context of economic cooperation. An agreement on classified information should facilitate, but not mandate, the exchange of classified information. The level of cooperation and associated sharing of
classified information will be subject to further negotiation. The presence of liaison officers and secondees could also play an important part in ensuring effective and timely sharing of information.

When the EU needs to exchange classified information with Third Countries on a regular basis they negotiate and conclude arrangements for exchanging and protecting classified information with the EU through a Security of Information Agreement (SoIA). SoIAs are legally binding agreements between the EU and the Third Country. They do not outline detailed technical provisions, but set the legal framework in order to facilitate such exchanges.

Both the UK and EU will also wish to explore appropriate arrangements covering the exchange and protection of sensitive non-classified information.

Technical note on consultation and cooperation on external security

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU and outlines options for future UK-EU consultation and cooperation arrangements across foreign policy, common security and defence policy (CSDP), defence capabilities and development and external instruments.


The Prime Minister set out in her Munich speech that the UK wants to develop a new security partnership with the EU that builds on the breadth and depth of our shared interests and values, and one that goes beyond any existing third country arrangements. As agreed with Taskforce 50 this paper provides further detail on what future UK-EU consultation and cooperation on external security might entail. This builds on the UK presentation to Taskforce 50 on 4 May, which we published on 9 May 2018.

Europe’s security is our security. As the Prime Minster said in Munich, the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining it. We must do whatever best provides security for our citizens. The UK and EU need to be able to work together to respond quickly and effectively to the evolving and challenging threats that both parties face. Upon leaving the EU, the UK will pursue an independent foreign policy, but around the world the interests that we will seek to project and defend will continue to be rooted in our shared values. We must therefore create a future partnership that allows the UK and the EU to combine our efforts to the greatest effect – where this is in our shared interests.

As set out in the UK presentation, any future UK-EU consultation arrangements must respect both the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. They also need to go beyond current arrangements between the EU and third countries if they are to capture the full depth and breadth of our envisaged
relationship. This includes the distinctive features that Taskforce 50’s own presentation recognises, not least our position as a departing Member State that is: a permanent member of the UN Security Council; a leading member of other international fora such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the G7, the G20, the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Commonwealth; and the only European country that meets both the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of gross national income on international development.

We are therefore of the view that a new, flexible and scalable framework of consultation and cooperation with the EU would be in our mutual interests and best suited to the unique circumstances we face. This would enable the EU and the UK to work closely together to have maximum impact – whether through coordinated positions in the UNSC or by
cooperating together during a crisis.

Framework for the UK-EU economic partnership

The Government published a document that explains the UK Government’s vision for the future UK-EU Economic Partnership.


This presentation sets out the UK’s objectives for the economic partnership, and the principles that should guide our approach to securing an enduring solution in the interests of the UK and EU.

We have set out a proposal for delivering our ambition for the future economic partnership, through the institutional structure, the governance arrangements and provisions to ensure fair and open competition.

Taken together, our proposed approach would make the most of our unprecedented situation, and this unique opportunity to lead global thinking on free trade.

We only have a short amount of time to negotiate a partnership that benefits both the UK and the EU. Building on the agreed topics published jointly on 4 May, we should agree next steps on the process, taking into account the time available.

Technical note on security, law enforcement and criminal justice

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, it provides analysis of the existing precedents for cooperation between the EU and third countries in the area of security, law enforcement and criminal justice before setting out the UK’s proposals for a new internal security treaty with the EU for future cooperation across these areas.


It is unlikely that the wide range of threats we face together will diminish; they will inevitably evolve and could well increase in intensity. Over the past year we have seen a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the UK and across Europe. Other plots have been foiled but more will be at the planning stage. The fact that the UK is leaving the
EU is unlikely to significantly affect the scale of movements of people between us: 37.6 million EEA and Swiss nationals entered the UK in 2016. Over 3 million EU nationals live in the UK and over 1 million UK nationals live in other Member States.

The UK’s analysis indicates that there will be a serious drop off in our ability to cooperate to tackle internal security threats if we do not seek to move beyond existing precedents for EU cooperation with third countries on individual measures. That shortfall would affect law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities in the UK and the EU27, and would have a direct impact on their ability to bring criminals to justice – and by extension, on public safety.

The UK believes there is a compelling case for developing a future relationship that protects critical operational capabilities and keeps our citizens safe. Our analysis suggests that this outcome would be delivered most effectively by a new, comprehensive Internal Security Treaty that draws on legal precedents for strategic relationships between the EU and third countries in other areas of the acquis and enables cooperation to be sustained on the basis of existing EU measures where this delivers mutual operational benefits. This would be the most efficient way to protect the capabilities that protect our citizens, avoid downgrading the quality and quantity of cooperation between us, and ensure our relationship can evolve over time as threats and technology change.

Technical note on the UK’s participation in Galileo

This technical note is part of a series of papers produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU, itsets out the UK’s position on participation in the Galileo programme.


  • The UK wants to continue participating in Galileo. This is in the mutual interests of the UK and EU, benefitting European competitiveness, security, capability development and interoperability. An end to close UK participation will be to the detriment of Europe’s prosperity and security and could result in delays and additional costs to the programme.
  • Future UK participation in Galileo should be agreed as part of the future security partnership between the UK and the EU. The UK and EU must work through issues relating to access to security-related elements of the programme in the framework of negotiations on the security partnership.
  • These negotiations should not be preempted or prejudged by actions that restrict UK participation.
  • If agreement cannot be reached on the future balance of rights and obligations, and UK security and industrial requirements consequently cannot be met, the UK could not justify future participation in Galileo. In parallel, the UK is therefore exploring alternatives to fulfil its needs for secure and resilient position, navigation and timing information, including the option for a domestic satellite system.