Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

1. The European Union, hereafter referred to as “the Union”, and the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, hereafter referred to as “the United Kingdom”, (“the Parties”)
have agreed this political declaration on their future relationship, on the basis that Article
50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) provides for the negotiation of an agreement
setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of a departing Member State, taking account
of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. In that context, this declaration
accompanies the Withdrawal Agreement that has been endorsed by the Parties, subject to
ratification.

2. The Union and United Kingdom are determined to work together to safeguard the rules-based
international order, the rule of law and promotion of democracy, and high standards of free
and fair trade and workers’ rights, consumer and environmental protection, and cooperation
against internal and external threats to their values and interests.
3. In that spirit, this declaration establishes the parameters of an ambitious, broad, deep and
flexible partnership across trade and economic cooperation, law enforcement and criminal
justice, foreign policy, security and defence and wider areas of cooperation. Where the Parties
consider it to be in their mutual interest during the negotiations, the future relationship may
encompass areas of cooperation beyond those described in this political declaration. This
relationship will be rooted in the values and interests that the Union and the United Kingdom
share. These arise from their geography, history and ideals anchored in their common
European heritage. The Union and the United Kingdom agree that prosperity and security are
enhanced by embracing free and fair trade, defending individual rights and the rule of law,
protecting workers, consumers and the environment, and standing together against threats to
rights and values from without or within.

4. The future relationship will be based on a balance of rights and obligations, taking into
account the principles of each Party. This balance must ensure the autonomy of the Union’s
decision making and be consistent with the Union’s principles, in particular with respect to
the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four
freedoms. It must also ensure the sovereignty of the United Kingdom and the protection of its
internal market, while respecting the result of the 2016 referendum including with regard to
the development of its independent trade policy and the ending of free movement of people
between the Union and the United Kingdom.
5. The period of the United Kingdom’s membership of the Union has resulted in a high level of
integration between the Union’s and the United Kingdom’s economies, and an interwoven
past and future of the Union’s and the United Kingdom’s people and priorities. The future
relationship will inevitably need to take account of this unique context. While it cannot
amount to the rights or obligations of membership, the Parties are agreed that the future
relationship should be approached with high ambition with regard to its scope and depth, and
recognise that this might evolve over time. Above all, it should be a relationship that will
work in the interests of citizens of the Union and the United Kingdom, now and in the future.

Read the full declaration here.

Compliments of the European Commission