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Extension of the transition period under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Question écrite de Mme Belinda DE LUCY - Commission européenne

Question de Mme Belinda DE LUCY,

Diffusée le 4 novembre 2019

Subject: Extension of the transition period under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Article 132 of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement expressly states that the transition period may be extended for up to 1 or 2 years with a ‘single’ decision. The original end date of the transition period is 31 December 2020, as defined in Article 126 of the Withdrawal Agreement.




Does the Commission agree that, under the provisions of this Withdrawal Agreement, the combined language of Articles 126 and 132 makes December 2022 the latest end date under any circumstances?

Given Chief Negotiator Barnier’s comments in the media1 that the negotiations of the subsequent Free Trade Agreement will take 3 years or more, how does the Commission envision any further extensions to take place?

Does the Commission agree that such an extension would itself need to be a trade agreement and that such an agreement would be a mixed agreement that would require ratification by Member States’ legislatures?

1 https://www.politico.eu/article/michel-barnier-eu-uk-trade-deal-could-take-3-years/

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 9 janvier 2020

Answer given by President von der Leyen on behalf of the European Commission (10 January 2020)

The text of the Withdrawal Agreement as it currently stands is to be understood as allowing a single decision extending the transition period for up to 1 or 2 years. Accordingly, 31 December 2022 is the latest end date of an extended transition period pursuant to the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Union and the United Kingdom both undertook in the context of the Political Declaratio n (2) setting out the framework for their future relationship (paragraph 135) ‘to develop in good faith agreements giving effect to this [future] relationship and to begin the formal process of negotiations as soon as possible after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Union, such that they come into force by the end of 2020’.

In view of this, best endeavours commitment of both Parties, the Commission sees no need to address at present the issue of possible arrangements providing for the application of Union law in and to the United Kingdom after the end of 2022 and beyond the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

⋅1∙ https://www.politico.eu/article/michel-barnier-eu-uk-trade-deal-could-take-3-years/

⋅2∙ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.CI.2019.384.01.0178.01.ENG&toc=OJ:C:2019:384I:TOC



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