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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)

Select Committee on Exiting the EU – report 05 December 2018

The Committee on Exiting the European Union publishes its report (09 December 2018) on the Government’s EU Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. The Report says that the Prime Minister’s deal fails to offer sufficient clarity or certainty for the future of the UK.


Conclusions and Recommendations

The adoption by the Government and the EU of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship is a significant moment.

Since the Government triggered Article 50, the negotiations have been conducted against a hard deadline and in circumstances of great political sensitivity, reflecting their critical importance to the UK and its place in the world. Parliament will now vote on whether to give its consent to the deal the Government has brought back from Brussels.

In this report, we assess what the deal would mean, and we set out what might happen next, depending on the result of the vote in the House of Commons. However, it is clear that after 20 months of intense negotiations, only the terms of the UK’s exit are fully known; the nature of the future relationship with the European Union is not, and therefore does not provide long-term certainty.

Full details are available at:

The progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal – The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration (PDF 751 kb)

(copy pdf)

Meaningful Vote

Before the UK can ratify any withdrawal agreement between the UK and the European Union as an international treaty, certain statutory conditions must be met. These are set out in section 13(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. One of these conditions requires the House of Commons to approve, by resolution, the negotiated withdrawal agreement and a joint statement between the UK and the EU on the future framework of relations between the two.

Debate has been scheduled over 5 days in the House of Commons on the 4-6, 10 and 11 December 2018 with a vote on 11 December 2018.

Background Information

Brexit and the meaningful vote: The Final Countdown?

Procedure Committee Motions under section 13(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

House of Lords library Briefing paper (pdf)

Research Briefing – A users guide to the meaningful vote

The Political Declaration on the Framework for Future EU-UK Relations (House of Commons research briefing)

Briefing Paper – Political Declaration

(Local copies)

EU Court of Justice on revocation of Article 50

A Full Court Hearing was held at the Court of Justice of the European Union on 27 November 2018 to decide on the possibility of revoking Article 50 ( Case C-621/18 Wightman )


(copy CURIA-621_18 (pdf) )

1 This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 50 TEU.

2 The request has been made in proceedings where the opposing parties are Andy Wightman, Ross Greer, Alyn Smith, David Martin, Jolyon Maugham, Catherine Stihler and Joanna Cherry, on the one hand, and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, on the other, raising the question whether it is possible to revoke the notification of the intention of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to withdraw from the European Union.

3 The Court of Session, Inner House, First Division (Scotland), seeks, in essence, to ascertain whether, where a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with Article 50 TEU, EU law permits that Member State unilaterally to revoke its notification before the end of the period of two years referred to in that article. If so, the referring court is uncertain as to the conditions governing such a revocation and its effects relative to that Member State remaining within the European Union.

4 The referring court states that, under Section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the withdrawal agreement which might be concluded between the United Kingdom and the Union under Article 50(2) TEU, setting out the arrangements for that withdrawal, may be ratified only if that agreement and the framework for the future relationship of the United Kingdom and the European Union has been approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The referring court states that, where the withdrawal agreement is not approved by that Parliament, and if no other proposal is made, the departure of the United Kingdom from the Union will nonetheless take effect as from 29 March 2019.

5 The referring court adds that it is uncertain whether it is possible to revoke the notification unilaterally and to remain within the European Union. That court also states that an answer from the Court of Justice will clarify the options open to the parliamentarians when they vote on those matters.

6 In its order for reference, the Court of Session, Inner House, First Division, requests that the Court deal with this reference for a preliminary ruling under the expedited procedure provided for in Article 105 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court.

7 That provision states that, at the request of the referring court or tribunal or, exceptionally, of his own motion, the President of the Court may, where the nature of the case requires that it be dealt with within a short time, after hearing the Judge-Rapporteur and the Advocate General, decide that a reference for a preliminary ruling is to be determined pursuant to an expedited procedure derogating from the provisions of those rules.

8 In this case, the referring court emphasises the urgency of its request in the light of, first, the two-year timetable running from 29 March 2017, the date of the notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union, which, in accordance with Article 50 TEU, is imposed on that withdrawal procedure, and, second, the fact that the parliamentary consideration and voting on that subject within the Parliament of the United Kingdom must of necessity take place well in advance of 29 March 2019.

9 In that regard, it is apparent that the referring court sets out grounds that undeniably indicate that there is a need to make a ruling urgently. In particular, as is stated in the order for reference, it is necessary to clarify the scope of Article 50 TEU before the Members of the national Parliament make a decision on the withdrawal agreement, referred to in that article, which might be submitted to them.

10 It has previously been held that, where a case raises serious uncertainties which affect fundamental issues of national constitutional law and EU law, it may be necessary, having regard to the particular circumstances of such a case, to deal with it within a short time pursuant to Article 105(1) of the Rules of Procedure (see, to that effect, orders of the President of the Court of 28 February 2017, M.A.S. and M.B., C‑42/17, not published, EU:C:2017:168, paragraphs 7 to 9, and of 26 September 2018, Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, C‑522/18, not published, EU:C:2018:786, paragraphs 14 to 16).

11 Given that the implementation of Article 50 TEU is of fundamental importance for the United Kingdom and for the constitutional order of the European Union, the particular circumstances in this instance are such as to justify this case being dealt with within a short time in accordance with Article 105(1) of the Rules of Procedure.

12 Consequently, it is appropriate to order that Case C‑621/18 be determined pursuant to the expedited procedure.

A note on twitter indicated the Advocate General, Campos Sánchez-Bordona, will deliver his opinion on 04 December 2018, prior to the vote in the House of Commons on 11 December to approve or reject the proposed Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Exiting the EU: Publications, 28 November 2018

The Government has released a collection of documents published to support understanding and assessment of the agreement reached with the EU. (28 November 2018)


The Department for Exiting the EU has published the following documents to support public and parliamentary assessment of the deal.

Taking back control of our borders, money, and laws while protecting our economy, security and Union

This document is a Public Friendly Summary

Taking back control of our borders, money and laws while protecting our economy, security and Union.

This document sets out how the deal  delivers on the referendum result and works in the national interest.

Assessment of the security partnership.

This assessment compares the UK-EU Future Security Security Partnership (FSP) as set out in the Political Declaration with a no deal scenario.

Long-term economic analysis.

The Government committed to publish economic analysis on the floor of the House on 30th January 2018.

Long-Term Economic Analysis Technical Reference Paper.

This document sets out the methodology used for the economic analysis.