Theresa May’s plan for Brexit has cleared another hurdle, after negotiators in Brussels agreed a text for the proposed political declaration on future EU/UK relations.
European Council president Donald Tusk announced that the text had been agreed in draft form by EU and UK negotiators and “agreed in principle at political level”.
The declaration outlines how trade, security and other issues will work following Brexit.
The announcement clears the way for a special Brexit summit to go ahead in Brussels on Sunday, when leaders of the 27 remaining EU states are expected to give their stamp of approval to the declaration alongside the 585-page withdrawal agreement setting out the terms of the UK’s departure.
It follows a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday evening between Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and is the first indication that the pair reached political agreement in principle on the text.
Mr Tusk said in a tweet: “I have just sent to EU27 a draft Political Declaration on the Future Relationship between EU and UK. The Commission President has informed me that it has been agreed at negotiators’ level and agreed in principle at political level, subject to the endorsement of the Leaders.”
According to the draft declaration agreed by the United Kingdom and the European Commission, the “parties envisage having a trading relationship on goods that is as close as possible, with a view to facilitating the ease of legitimate trade.”
The draft declaration will now be screened by national envoys of the remaining 27 EU states meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
Both the EU and Britain “should aim to deliver a level of liberalisation in trade in services well beyond the parties’ WTO commitments,” according to the draft declaration.