EU General Affairs Council (Article 50) meeting on 19 November 2018

The Council, in an EU27 format, prepared for the special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) scheduled for Sunday 25 November 2018.

In preparation for the summit, ministers exchanged views on the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement as presented and published by the negotiators on 14 November 2018. This text has been agreed by both sides, the EU and the UK, at the level of the negotiators.

The EU and the UK negotiators have reached a deal on all the aspects of the UK withdrawal, including securing the rights of citizens. Generally the result is a fair compromise. Both sides have moved towards each other. Break-ups are never easy, but it is always better when they happen in friendly terms. That is also the best way to build a good relationship for the future. We still want the UK as an essential partner in all fields for many years to come.

Gernot BLÜMEL, Federal Minister for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media of Austria

Ministers also commented on the outline for a political declaration on future EU-UK relations that was presented by the negotiators together with the draft withdrawal agreement on 14 November 2018. This outline serves as a basis for the final text of the political declaration that is currently being negotiated with the UK and that will accompany and be referred to in the withdrawal agreement.

EU27 leaders will meet to endorse the Brexit withdrawal agreement on Sunday 25 November 2018.

The summit was called by President Donald Tusk on 15 November 2018, after his meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who presented to him the draft text as agreed with the UK at the level of the negotiators.

On Sunday 25 November 2018, EU27 leaders are expected to endorse the Brexit withdrawal agreement and to approve the political declaration on future EU-UK relations.

“If nothing extraordinary happens, we will hold a European Council meeting, in order to finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council