The European Council (Council) has published guidelines for Brexit negotiations.

The guidelines define the framework for negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and set out the overall positions and principles that the EU will pursue throughout the negotiation.

The guidelines’ core principles state, among other things,:

  • that the four freedoms of the Single Market are indivisible and that there can be no “cherry picking”;
  • in accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual terms cannot be settled separately; and
  • there will be no separate negotiations between individual Member States and the UK on matters pertaining to the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The guidelines also mention that the first phase of the negotiations will aim to:

  • provide as much clarity and legal certainty to citizens, businesses, stakeholders and international partners on the immediate effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU; and
  • settle the disentanglement of the UK from the EU and from all the rights and obligations the UK derives from commitments undertaken as a Member State.

The guidelines add that an “overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship” should be identified during a second phase of the negotiations under Article 50 TEU.  It states that the EU stands ready to engage in preliminary and preparatory discussions as soon as the European Council decides that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase towards reaching a satisfactory agreement on the arrangements for an orderly withdrawal.

View European Council (Art.50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations, 29 April 2017