EU Negotiating Directives on the transition period

The EU published/updated the set of Supplementary directives for the negotiation of an agreement with the UK setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal from the EU with regard to Transitional Arrangements.

This is also referred to in the UK as the Implementation Period.

In brief, for the duration of the transition period, the EU outlines its requirements as follows:

  • The UK will be treated as an EU member state
  • EU law will apply to the UK
  • The UK will remain bound by the obligations stemming from the agreements concluded by the EU, or by Member States acting on its behalf while the UK should however no longer participate in any bodies set up by those agreements.
  • Require the UK’s continued participation in the Customs Union and the Single Market (with all four freedoms) during the transition.
    • the UK should continue to comply with the Union trade policy.
    • the UK may not become bound by international agreements entered into in its own capacity in the fields of competence of Union law, unless authorised to do so by the Union.
  • The UK will preserve the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU
  • The UK will no longer participate in or nominate or elect members of the Union institutions, nor participate in the decision-making or the governance of the Union bodies, offices and agencies.
  • The UK will not attend meetings of committees or Commission experts groups and other similar entities or of the agencies, offices or bodies where Member States are represented except on a case-by-case basis where the presence of the UK is necessary and without voting rights. The Withdrawal Agreement should define the precise conditions and the clear framework under which such exceptional attendance should be allowed.
  • Specific consultations should also be foreseen with regard to the fixing of fishing opportunities (total allowable catches) during the transition period.
  • The transition period should apply as from the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement and should not last beyond 31 December 2020.

Full details at:

Council (Article 50) negotiating directives on the transition period (pdf)


Press Releases

Brexit: European Commission receives mandate to begin negotiations with the United Kingdom on transitional arrangements

Press statement by Michel Barnier following the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on the adoption of negotiating directives on transitional arrangements
Other Comments


EU ministers, who approved the new negotiating directives at a meeting on Monday of the General Affairs Council, also portrayed the EU terms of the transition as effectively non-negotiable.