UK- EU Relationship: New Beginnings
On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). In Feb 2020, the European Commission has issued a recommendation to the Council to open negotiations on a new partnership with the UK. The UK is in full acceptance with the European Council guidelines and conclusions alongside the Political Declaration of the EU and UK. This Declaration not only improves upon the future interactions of the EU and UK but also maintains a transparent and fair competitive environment.
Upon the UK’s exit from the EU, a transition phase occurred on February 1st of this year which extends all the way through the 31st of December. The transition phase can be reinstated for up to two years but must be considered before July 1st.
The EU published its mandate for negotiations with the UK on the future relationship. The UK government published its mandate two days later, on 27 February. Formal negotiations with the United Kingdom are set to begin the week of 2 March 2020. According to European Union, the comprehensive negotiating directives define the scope and terms of the future partnership that the European Union envisages with the United Kingdom. These directives cover all areas of interest for the negotiations, including trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, foreign policy, security and defence, participation in Union programmes and other thematic areas of cooperation. A dedicated chapter on governance provides an outline for an overall governance framework covering all areas of economic and security cooperation.
According to the official website of European Union , President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said:“We are now ready to start negotiations with the United Kingdom. We want to build a close, ambitious future partnership, as this is in the best interest of people on both sides of the Channel. I would like to thank the European Parliament and all Member States for their continued trust in our negotiating team. We will work as hard as we can to achieve the best possible result.”
In conclusion, it seems that the above mentioned recommendation issued by the European Commission can be the first step in the negotiation phase as there is a seemingly open air for negotiations and partnerships with the UK.