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Statement by Michel Barnier

Statement by Michel Barnier on the adoption of negotiating directives on transitional arrangements.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to say a few words on these new negotiation directives:

The EU position is very clear: the transition will last for 21 months, until 31 December 2020.

During this limited period of time, the whole EU acquis will continue to apply to the UK. As well as the full EU supervision and enforcement framework, under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

This will include new EU rules entering into force during this period. For one simple reason: during transition, the UK will continue to take part in the Single Market, the Customs Union and all Union policies. It will continue to have all the economic benefits. Therefore it must also apply all the EU rules. The Single Market cannot be "à la carte".

This will ensure stability for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. Their rights will remain unchanged until 31 December 2020. And we are determined to ensure that those who arrived before this date will benefit from the protection agreed in our Joint Report.

This will also ensure a level playing field and stability for businesses. They will not have to adapt twice. That said, it is high time to start preparing for those who have not done so yet.

However, the UK will no longer be an EU member on 29 March 2019. This will have consequences in terms of institutions and governance. After this date, the UK will no longer participate in the EU decision-making process.

Finally, one word on existing agreements with third countries during the transition:

As part of the transition, the UK will remain bound by the obligations stemming from all existing EU international agreements, for instance on trade and aviation. This is crucial for the good functioning of the Single Market and the Customs Union. And we can agree on this in the Article 50 Agreement between the EU and the UK.

But we cannot ensure in the Article 50 Agreement that the UK keeps the benefits from these international agreements. Our partners around the world may have their own views on this, for instance the 70 countries covered by trade deals.


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