Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission receives mandate to begin negotiations with the UK

The European Commission welcomes the Council’s decision today, as expected, to authorise the opening of the future partnership negotiations with the UK.  The negotiating directives adopted today are based on the draft recommendation put forward by the Commission on 3 February 2020. They fully respect existing European Council guidelines and conclusions, as well as the Political Declaration agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom in October 2019. The comprehensive negotiating directives define the scope and terms of the future partnership that the European Union envisages with the United Kingdom. These directives cover all areas of interest for the negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence, participation in Union programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation. A dedicated chapter on governance provides an outline for an overall governance framework covering all areas of economic and security cooperation. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said: “We are now ready to start negotiations with the United Kingdom. We want to build a close, ambitious future partnership, as this is in the best interest of people on both sides of the Channel. I would like to thank the European Parliament and all Member States for their continued trust in our negotiating team. We will work as hard as we can to achieve the best possible result.” Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, said: “We are determined to reach a deal that protects EU interests. We will work hand-in-hand with the European Parliament and all Member States and will continue to be fully transparent throughout this process.” A full press release is available online. Michel Barnier will take part in the General Affairs Council press conference at approximately 14:45 today. Follow live here.