On 19 October, a statement was also made to Parliament that a political agreement had been reached. The UK has launched the formal process of withdrawal negotiations by formally announcing the European Council`s intention to leave the EU. 221.In given the importance of the UK-EU trade relationship, the parties agree to „establish an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced economic partnership… free trade agreement and broader sectoral cooperation if it is in the mutual interest of both sides.” The reference to a free trade agreement replaces the terms „free trade area” in the November 2018 text. This partnership should, as far as possible, facilitate trade and investment, while respecting the principles and commitments of both parties.230 347.The text of the rest of Part V has been revised, taking into account developments since November 2018. It states that, after the EU has taken the necessary steps to begin formal negotiations under Article 218 of the EUSU, the parties will „negotiate in parallel the agreements necessary to confer on the future form of relations law”. Immediately after the UK`s withdrawal, a programme covering the structure, format and timing of the rounds of negotiations will be adopted: „This programme will aim to achieve the common intention of the parties to conclude agreements by the end of 2020 that will enter into force in future relations.” The final text of the withdrawal agreement signed in Brussels and London on 24 January 2020 and the Council`s (EU) 2020/135 decision on the conclusion of the withdrawal agreement adopted yesterday have been published. This Council decision explains the role of the Commission, Parliament and the Council itself in implementing the agreement. It also provides that the Council may, under certain conditions, allow the United Kingdom to declare its agreement on an exclusive EU competence by its own means, to be bound by an international agreement to enter into force or to be implemented during the transition period.
Particular attention will be paid to the role of Ireland, the Republic of Cyprus and the Kingdom of Spain, which may ask the Council to negotiate, under certain conditions, bilateral agreements with the United Kingdom in areas exclusively within the EU`s jurisdiction. In accordance with the communication on the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement, also published in today`s Official Journal, the agreement will enter into force on 1 February 2020, in accordance with Article 185, paragraph 1. 242.In of the declaration, it is specified that future relationships, based on „equivalency frameworks” as stated in the November 2018 text, that both parties will endeavour to complete these assessments by the end of June 2020 (although 14 months have passed since the original proposal of this timetable)249 The respective equivalency frameworks will be reviewed and there is no commitment to a model of economic and regulatory alignment on financial services, as proposed by the government in its future White Paper on Relations. This confirms a warning we had already issued in December 2016: „While the UK could be considered equivalent at the time of withdrawal, there is no guarantee that this would be the case.” 250 223.As with the previous text, the revised declaration provides for „no tariffs, royalties, royalties or quantitative restrictions in all sectors”, although at present, in the explicit context of a free trade agreement.