EU27 leaders endorse the Brexit withdrawal agreement and approve the political declaration on future EU-UK relations
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker participated today at the special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) which endorsed the Brexit withdrawal agreement, as presented by the negotiators of the EU and the UK, and approved the political declaration on future EU-UK relations, which accompanies and is referred to in the withdrawal agreement.
At the press conference President Juncker said: “I am satisfied with the results of today though it’s a sad moment to see the U.K. leaving the EU. The Commission negotiated for more than a year. The biggest achievement is that we maintained unity of EU27 throughout.[..] This is the best deal possible. I invite those who have to ratify it in the U.K. House of Commons, to do so. This is the best deal for Britain. This is the best deal for Europe. It is the only deal possible.[…] La Commission fut chargée de conduire cette négociation, personne d’autre d’ailleurs n’aurait pu la conduire. Je voudrais ici rendre un hommage appuyé à Michel Barnier mais aussi à toutes les équipes qui l’ont entouré.”
According to the European Council conclusions, EU leaders endorsed the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. On this basis, the European Council invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 30 March 2019, so as to provide for an orderly withdrawal.
The European Council also approved the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The European Council restated the Union’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future in line with the Political Declaration. The Union’s approach will continue to be defined by the overall positions and principles set out in the previously agreed European Council’s guidelines.
The European Council thanked Michel Barnier for his tireless efforts as the Union’s chief negotiator and for his contribution to maintaining the unity among EU27 Member States throughout the negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.