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EU announcement relative to negotiations with the UK

The Council on the 25th February adopted a decision authorising the opening of negotiations for a new partnership with the UK, and formally nominating the Commission as EU negotiator. The Council also adopted negotiating directives which constitute a mandate to the Commission for the negotiations.

The Council has adopted a clear mandate for their negotiator, Michel Barnier. This confirms this readiness to offer “an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced partnership to the UK for the benefit of both sides”. The EU is now ready to start negotiations.

The EU publicly stated intention is “to establish an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership with the UK”. The mandate stresses that the future partnership should be underpinned by robust commitments “to ensure a level playing field for open and fair competition, given the EU and the UK's geographic proximity and economic interdependence”.

The EU intends to establish a free trade agreement with the UK which ensures that zero tariffs and quotas apply to trade in goods. This agreement should provide for cooperation on customs and regulatory aspects. It should also include effective management and supervision, dispute settlement and enforcement arrangements.

The mandate also contains provisions for future cooperation in areas such as digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, mobility, transport, and energy.

The EU will seek to establish a comprehensive security partnership with the UK. The partnership should comprise law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, as well as foreign policy, security and defence.

The mandate foresees that the future partnership should be embedded in an overall governance framework covering all areas of cooperation. Additional information is available on the Europa website at https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/02/25/eu-uk-relations-council-gives-go-ahead-for-talks-to-start-and-adopts-negotiating-directives/?amp;utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EU-UK+relations%3a+Council+gives+go-ahead+for+talks+to+start+and+adopts+negotiating+directives

BIFA understands that the UK Government will be issuing its negotiating position this coming Thursday and we will publish that when available.

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