Main results of the General Affairs Council, 12th of December (Art. 50/Negotiations with the UK)
The Council, in EU27 format, was informed by the EU Brexit Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the state of play of the negotiations with the UK. Ministers took note of the Commission’s assessment of the progress achieved in the first phase of negotiations, as reflected in the communication from the Commission and the joint report by the EU and the UK negotiators on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The EU heads of states or governements will now decide whether sufficient progress has been made to advance to the second phase.
Ministers then finalised the preparations for the European Council (Article 50) on 15 December 2017 with a discussion on the draft guidelines for further negotiations with the UK.
The agreement last Friday is an essential milestone in the Brexit negotiations. It provides certainty to 4,5 million citizens, enables us to seek solutions to the Irish border question and provides clarity on the financing of common commitments that we have undertaken with the UK. It is at the same time important to note that any further progress requires full respect of the commitments in the first phase.
Sven Mikser, Estonian Minister for Foreign Affairs