EU27 leaders endorse new Brexit deal

At the end of the first meeting of EU27 leaders held yesterday, the European Council endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement of the UK from the EU. The European Council invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take the necessary steps to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK on 1 November 2019.

In its Council conclusions, the European Council also approved the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK on the basis that Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union provides for the negotiation of an agreement setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal of a departing Member State.

The European Council reaffirmed the EU’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the UK in the future in line with the Political Declaration.

Before the Withdrawal Agreement can enter into force, it needs to be ratified by both the EU and the UK. The Council of the EU must authorise the signature of the Withdrawal Agreement, before sending it to the European Parliament for its consent. The UK must ratify the agreement according to its own constitutional arrangements.

More information – European Council (Art. 50) Conclusions, 17 October 2019

On Turkey
The European Council multilaterally condemned military action by Turkey in North East Syria, calling for the withdrawal of forces and the respect for international human law.

Reaffirming solidarity with Cyprus, the European Council also addressed the issue of Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus and endorsed the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 14 October 2019 for a framework regime of restrictive measures targeting natural and legal persons responsible for or involved in the illegal drilling activity of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean to be put in place and invited the High Representative and the Commission to swiftly present proposals to this effect.

More information – European Council conclusions on Turkey, illegal drilling activities and MH17
More information – Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on North East Syria

Other matters
On their second day, EU leaders discussed the EU’s long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) for 2021-2027, the next institutional cycle, climate change and EU enlargement.

The President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was invited to attend today’s European Council meeting to present her political guidelines for the new Commission.

The European Council also adopted a decision appointing Christine Lagarde as President of the European Central Bank.

Click here for the European Council Conclusions, 17-18 October 2019.

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