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Parliamentary questions
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15 July 2019
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001930/2019

In line with the EU Treaties, the European Council’s Guidelines of 29 April 2017(1), in particular paragraphs 13, 25 and 26, stipulate the EU's position with regard to the parameters within which the United Kingdom can act while being a Member State.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) regularly issues guidelines to the EU's delegations and representation offices to steer the communication on the EU positions in the Brexit process, including on the subject of international agreements. These are purely factual and in line with the EU Treaties.

In December 2018, the EU Delegations were asked to undertake a demarche towards third countries to convey the EU position on the conditions for the negotiation of international agreements by the United Kingdom in areas of EU competence before withdrawal.

In particular, the United Kingdom may negotiate agreements in areas of EU competence on condition that it respects its obligations under the Treaties and follows the appropriate procedures.

The Commission and the High Representative are not aware of any instructions or encouragement referred to by the Honourable Member.

There have however been exchanges of letters between the Commission’s Secretary-General and the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the EU concerning the United Kingdom’s negotiations of agreements with third countries in areas of EU competence, including on the information that should be provided by the United Kingdom to the EU in that context.

(1)European Council (Art. 50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/04/29/euco-brexit-guidelines/

Last updated: 16 July 2019Legal notice