HomeInsightsGovernment publishes Terms of Reference on the UK-EU future relationship negotiations


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The Terms of Reference set out the elements that will guide the negotiations on their future relationship, within the framework set out by the Political Declaration of 17 October 2019. The main elements are set out below.

On the European Commission side, the negotiations are led by the Commission’s Chief Negotiator who is the Head of the Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF). He is supported by a Deputy Chief Negotiator.

On the UK side, the negotiations are led by the UK’s Chief Negotiator who is the Head of Task Force Europe (TFE). Other public officials will participate in the negotiation as appropriate, and may be designated as Deputy Chief Negotiators.

Full negotiating rounds will, in principle, take place every two to three weeks, unless agreed otherwise between the parties. Negotiation rounds will alternate between London and Brussels. An agenda for each full round will be established in advance.

Each full round will “open” with an opening plenary session at Chief or Deputy Chief Negotiators’ level to set the objectives of the round, and “close” with a stocktaking at the closing plenary session at Chief or Deputy Chief Negotiators’ level, to assess the overall progress achieved and consider the focus of work at the next round.

Informal discussions between the parties may occur, as necessary, between rounds.

At the high-level meeting planned for June 2020, the parties will convene to take stock of progress, with the aim of agreeing actions to move forward in negotiations on the future relationship.

Documents will not be made public without the consent of the originator party, and in the case of joint documents without the consent of both parties.

Negotiations will be conducted in English and in duly justified circumstances in French.

The parties will pursue negotiations transparently and, as necessary, will seek to agree any necessary public statements relating to the negotiations. This is without prejudice to the parties reporting separately on the outcome of the rounds in accordance with their practices, including with regard to any written report that they may wish to publish. To read the Terms of Reference in full, click here.