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16 Nov 2018

Brexit: Draft Withdrawal Agreement is published

The European Commission (EC) has published the draft of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the negotiators of the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) on 14 November 2018. The EC recommends to the European Council (Article 50) to find that decisive progress has been made in the "Brexit" negotiations on the orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, allowing the negotiations on the withdrawal agreement to be concluded and the next step of the process to be initiated. The draft Withdrawal Agreement covers all elements of the UK's withdrawal from the EU: citizens' rights, the financial settlement, a transition period, governance, Protocols on Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus, as well as a range of other separation issues. It also includes a transition period from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020.

With regard to citizens' rights, the EC stresses that the Withdrawal Agreement enables both EU citizens and UK nationals, as well as their respective family members, to continue to exercise their rights derived from Union law in each other's territories, for the rest of their lives, where those rights are based on life choices made before the end of the transition period. They can continue to live, work or study as they currently do under the same substantive conditions as under Union law. The Withdrawal Agreement is less explicit on science, research and innovation issues, where meny questions remain open, such as e.g. the UK's participation in Horizon Europe, in space-related initiatives, or researcher mobility beyond the transition period.

The Withdrawal Agreement still needs to be endorsed by the European Council (Article 50), and before it can enter into force, needs to be ratified by the EU and the UK. Council President Donald Tusk announced that Council will hold an extraordinary meeting on 25 November 2018. The agreement will also need to be ratified by the European Parliament and the British Parliament.

For more information:

Draft Withdrawal Agreement (download)

EC - press release

EC Fact Sheet on the Withdrawal Agreement

Science|Business article: Brexit: 4 sticking points for science and technology

Statement by Chief EC Negotiator Michel Barnier

Remarks by Council President Donald Tusk

EP President Tajani on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement

EP Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement

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