Brexit Negotiations

EU Agree Further Extension for Brexit

Donald Tusk announced this morning (28 October 2019) that the EU 27 has agreed to accept the UK (Parliament) request for an extension to the period under Article 50 (3) until 31 January 2020.

After 942 days since Article 50 was invoked, another extension (Jan 31 2020) to the extension (Oct 31 2019) of the extension (Apr 12 2019) of the negotiation period (Mar 29 2019) allowed under Article 50 has been agreed by the EU27. With option to leave on Dec 1 2019 or 1 Jan 2010.

All these extensions are playing havoc with my Countdown to Brexit

Brexit Negotiations Withdrawal Agreement

Consolidated Withdrawal Agreement 17 October 2019

Consolidated version of the Withdrawal Agreement following revision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and technical adaptations to Articles 184 and 185, as agreed at negotiators’ level and endorsed by the European Council

and a copy

Consolidated Withdrawal Agreement (pdf)

Brexit Negotiations Political Declaration

Deal Agreed ?

Both Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Junker have made statements this morning indicating that an agreement has been reached between the UK and the EU on on a new (revised) deal for leaving the EU.

It’s somewhat ironic, however, that it is necessary to retrieve the relevant documents from an EU website !!

Here is the document

Revised texts agreed at negotiators’ level for: – The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland included in the Withdrawal Agreement and the consequential technical adaptations to Article 184 “Negotiations on the future relationship” and Article 185 “Entry into force and application” of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community
(“Withdrawal Agreement”).

These revised texts are:

  • Intended to replace the corresponding provisions included in the last version of the Withdrawal Agreement published in OJ C144 I of 25.4.2019;
  • Subject to legal revision.

This document contains the revisions/changes to the original withdrawal agreement, the rest of the original agreement as negotiated by Theresa May still stands.

Revised Withdrawal Agreement (copy pdf)


Documents are also available from the Government web-site at

The United Kingdom and European Union negotiators have reached an agreement in principle on a new New Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and Political Declaration. The new Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union, with changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol to remove the so-called backstop and replace it with arrangements that meet the Government’s objectives.

The new Political Declaration sets out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom and reflects the Government’s ambition to conclude an ambitious, broad, deep and flexible free trade agreement with the EU, accompanied by a comprehensive and balanced security partnership.

and copies

Unilateral Declaration on Consent (pdf)

Revised Political Declaration (pdf)

Revised_Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement (pdf)

Brexit Negotiations No Deal

David Sassoli negotiating with John Bercow ?

EU Parliament President David Sassoli meets Speaker of the UK House of Commons John Bercow.

Is this how negotiations are being conducted ? An example of the EU dabbling in internal UK affairs perhaps.

“The European Parliament would support a request from the UK government to extend the withdrawal period in order to have time for a general election or a referendum.”

This was the message from European Parliament President David Sassoli during a meeting with Speaker of the UK House of Commons John Bercow in London. President Sassoli restated the position adopted by the European Parliament in September that an extension should be granted to allow time for either elections or a referendum.

“John Bercow and I fully agreed on the important role that our parliaments play in the Brexit process. There is also a common awareness that a disorderly exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union would be against the interests of British and European citizens.”

Brexit Negotiations

Statement by David Sassoli, President of the EU Parliament

David Sassoli, President of the EU Parliament, made a statement following his meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 9 October 2019.

I have just had a meeting with Prime Minister Johnson. I came here in the confident hope of hearing proposals that could take negotiations forward. However, I must note that there has been no progress.

As you know, a deal between the EU and UK requires not only a positive meaningful vote of the House of Commons, but also the European Parliament’s approval.

It is therefore important that the UK Prime Minister hears directly from the European Parliament on its approach to Brexit. I am grateful to Mr Johnson for giving me that opportunity.

Our approach is very straightforward. We think an orderly Brexit, the UK leaving with a deal, is by far the best outcome. The deal that we thought had been agreed with the UK last year was a text the EP could have supported. It resolved all the issues associated with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. It provided certainty for citizens and businesses. It looked forward to a close future EU-UK relationship. As things stand, it remains the best possible agreement.

As I explained to Mr Johnson, the Parliament will not agree to a deal at any price. We will not agree to a deal that undermines the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process or compromise the integrity of our single market. This we made plain in our resolution adopted with a huge majority in September.

We have examined the UK proposals to replace the original backstop and our response is that these are a long way from something to which the Parliament could agree. In addition, they are not immediately operable.

Negotiations, I know, are continuing and the Parliament, through its Brexit Steering Group, is being kept fully informed by Michel Barnier of the progress on those talks.

There are two alternatives to a deal at this juncture: extension or no deal.

On an extension, the Parliament is open to this possibility, should there be a good reason or purpose for this. But requesting an extension is a matter for the UK and it is not my place to comment on the political controversies or legal issues that are being debated in the United Kingdom.

As far as no deal is concerned, we are very clear that this would be a very negative outcome. It will be economically damaging to both parties, in particular to the UK. It will have very serious consequences on the island of Ireland. It will increase uncertainty for business and above all for citizens. “No deal” would clearly be the responsibility of the UK government.

On citizens, we will continue to ensure that in all scenarios their rights are protected.

I do hope a no-deal outcome can be avoided, but if not, the EU has taken the necessary measures to prepare for this outcome.

I continue to place my faith in good sense and responsibility but among friends, duty demands that we tell each other the truth.

Thank you.

But what is the extension for ?

It looks increasing unlikely that any deal will ever be reached between the UK and the EU.