General Affairs Council (Art. 50), 19/11/2018

Main results

The Council, in an EU27 format, prepared the special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) scheduled for Sunday 25 November 2018. The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier informed ministers on the state of play.

Withdrawal agreement

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

Political declaration on future EU-UK relations

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.

Ministers gave the chief negotiator guidance for the discussions on the political declaration, recalling the positions of the EU27 that are already set out in the European Council (Article 50) guidelines, notably those of March 2018. The Commission intends to agree on a final draft of the political declaration with the UK by Tuesday 20 November 2018.

Special meeting of European Council (Article 50)

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.