As Brexit negotiations have now concluded, this page includes many of the relevant documents proposed in the Article 50 process, including a link to the Withdrawal Agreement, which was defeated in the House of Commons on 15 January 2019. Our thanks to our colleagues in European Movement Ireland who helped provide a list of the EU and UK documents and position papers, as well as Irish government documents, which have been released.
On 29 March 2017, the UK invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, formally beginning the process of its withdrawal from the EU. This followed the UK electorate’s vote to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1% on 23 June 2016.
The leaders of the 27 remaining EU Member States met at a Special European Council Summit on 29 April 2017, during which they agreed guidelines for the Brexit negotiations under Article 50. The Council of the European Union resultantly authorised the opening of negotiations at a meeting in an EU27 format on 22 May 2017, during which they also adopted negotiating directives for the EU’s nominated negotiator, the European Commission.
The first round of Article 50 negotiations began on 19 June 2017, following which the EU and UK released a shared understanding on the terms of reference of the Article 50 negotiations. The second round of talks took place during the week of 17 July 2017, after which a joint technical note summarising and comparing the EU and UK positions on citizens’ rights (one of the three priorities, along with the financial settlement and the unique circumstance on the island of Ireland, for the first phase of the negotiations) was published.
The sixth round of Article 50 negotiations ended in November 2017. Negotiations carried on for another year, before concluding in November with the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU was endorsed by leaders at a special meeting of the European Council on 25 November 2018:
However, the agreement was defeated in a Meaningful Vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday 15 January.
After five days of debate, beginning on 9 January 2019, the House of Commons voted against the Government’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union in the ‘meaningful vote’. The Government was defeated by a majority of 230, with MPs voting 432 to 202 against their deal.
UK Government Economic Analysis
In November 2018, the UK Government published long-term economic forecasts based on a number of scenarios:
Archive of Relevant Documents During the Negotiations
Below is an archive of the EU and UK, as well as Irish government, documents and position papers concerning Brexit to date.
20 December 2017, Brexit and Northern Ireland: A Reading List (Compiled by Seán McGeown)
EC Brexit Task Force:
5 April 2017, European Parliament resolution on redlines for Brexit negotiations: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the key principles and conditions for its approval (by a simple majority) of the UK’s withdrawal agreement.
29 April 2017, European Council guidelines for Brexit negotiations: The European Council adopted guidelines for the negotiations which defined the framework of negotiations under Article 50 and set out the EU’s overall principles for the negotiations.
22 May 2017, Council of European Union negotiating directives for the Article 50 negotiations: The Council of the European Union adopted negotiating directives for the Brexit negotiations, formally nominating the European Commission as EU negotiator and authorising the opening of the negotiations.
EU Position Papers
12 June 2017, Essential Principles on the Financial Settlement: The EU set out its position regarding the EU and UK’s financial obligations for the whole period of the UK’s membership of the Union.
12 June 2017, Essential Principles on Citizens’ Rights: The EU set out its position on how the rights of EU27 citizens residing in the UK, UK citizens living in the EU, and their family members, should be protected in the withdrawal agreement.
12 July 2017, Nuclear materials and safeguard equipment (Euratom): The EU published its position on how the withdrawal agreement should reflect the UK’s current obligations under the European Atomic Community (Euratom).
12 July 2017, Goods placed on the Market under Union law before the withdrawal date: The EU released a position paper on the status of goods still on the market when the UK leaves the EU but which were made available before the UK’s date of withdrawal.
12 July 2017, Issues relating to the Functioning of the Union Institutions, Agencies and Bodies: The EU transmitted a position paper to the UK on its essential principles regarding issues relating to the functioning of the EU Institutions, Agencies and Bodies, including those currently located in the UK, after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
12 July 2017, Ongoing Union Judicial and Administrative Procedures: The EU stated its position on cases before the Court of Justice for the European Union (also known as the European Court of Justice) involving the UK or UK citizens which are ongoing when the UK leaves the EU.
12 July 2017, Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial matters: The EU published its position on the relevant, continuing mutual recognition of legal judgments when the UK leaves the EU and those pending in civil and commercial matters on the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
12 July 2017, Governance: The EU transmitted a position paper to the UK on its essential principles regarding oversight and the dispute settlement of the application and interpretation of the withdrawal agreement.
12 July 2017, Ongoing Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal matters: The EU released its position on the completion of ongoing police investigations and court cases when the UK withdraws from the EU.
20 September 2017, Guiding principles for the Dialogue on Ireland/Northern Ireland
UK Government Documents
2 February 2017, The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union White Paper: The UK government published a White Paper setting out its approach to negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU and future relationship with the Union.
29 March 2017, Letter Invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union: The UK government delivered a letter formally triggering Article 50 and initiating the process of its withdrawal from the EU.
30 March 2017, The Repeal Bill: White Paper: The UK government published a White Paper detailing its intention to copy the body of EU legislation into UK law at the moment the UK repeals the 1972 European Communities Act which took the UK into the EU.
UK Government Position Papers
26 June 2017, Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU: The UK government published a position paper regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, after the UK leaves the EU.
13 July 2017, Privileges and immunities: The UK government set out its position regarding the privileges and immunities of EU Institutions, Agencies, Bodies and representatives in the UK once the country leaves the EU.
13 July 2017, Nuclear materials and safeguards issues: The UK government released a position paper regarding the status of the UK’s participation in the European Atomic Community (Euratom) once it withdraws from the EU.
13 July 2017, Ongoing Union judicial and administrative proceedings: The UK government published its position regarding the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice for the European Union (also known as the European Court of Justice) in the UK once it exits the EU.
16 August 2017, Northern Ireland and Ireland: The UK government stated its position on the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland and Ireland in light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
21 August 2017, Confidentiality and access to documents: The UK government published a position paper relating to classified information obtained by the UK and EU during the UK’s EU membership.
21 August 2017, Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK: The UK government stated its position on the availability of goods which are on the market at the time of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Published 22 December 2017, Citizens’ rights – UK and Irish nationals in the Common Travel Area
UK Government Future Partnership Papers
15 August 2017, Future customs arrangements: The UK government produced a paper discussing future customs arrangements between the UK and the Union following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
22 August 2017, Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework: The UK government published a paper discussing the settlement of cross-border legal disputes after Brexit.
23 August 2017, Enforcement and dispute resolution: The UK government published a paper discussing models relating to the enforcement of any future trade agreement between the UK and EU.
24 August 2017, The exchange and protection of personal data: The UK government released a paper regarding the protection and exchanging of personal data between the UK and EU after Brexit.
6 September 2017, Collaboration on science and innovation: a future partnership paper
12 September 2017,Foreign policy, defence and development: a future partnership paper
18 September 2017Security, law enforcement and criminal justice
Irish Government Documents
15 March 2017, Brexit: Ireland’s Priorities: The Irish government published an information booklet outlining the Irish government’s main priorities and concerns ahead of the Brexit negotiations.
2 May 2017, Ireland and the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union – The Government’s Approach: The Irish government published a position paper reflecting on the findings and outcomes of preparatory work undertaken ahead of the negotiations and outlining the Irish government’s approach to Brexit.
Press statement by Michel Barnier following the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on the adoption of negotiating directives on transitional arrangements:
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen and became an Act of Parliament:
This infographic presents a visual summary of the ‘Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland’, which is part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19 March 2018:
Technical note on temporary customs arrangement
This document sets out the UK’s proposal for a ‘backstop’ customs arrangement between the UK and EU:
The following interview with QUB’s Katy Hayward in July 2018 helps explain the EU’s proposed backstop and why the UK opposes it:
UK Government’s proposal:
The Latest from the Commission can be found here:
The Department for Exiting the EU:
All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit
With thanks to our colleagues at European Movement Ireland: http://www.europeanmovement.ie/