The EU 27 guidelines can be found here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu//media/3 ... 02en18.pdf
The next weeks should be very interesting
To start the debate, I should add http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42860044
The European Union has laid out its guidelines (known officially as supplementary directives) for the transition period after the UK formally leaves it, presumably in March next year.
This is just the start of the negotiations - this is the agreed position of the other 27 member states.
It's quite a dense, legalistic document, so Reality Check has pulled out some of the more important sections.
This is a bit of a warning shot. The guidelines begin with several paragraphs reminding us of what's been agreed so far, and emphasise that those agreements have to be respected if further progress is to be made.
One example: the EU believes there was an understanding that the transition period would maintain the status quo - in other words, all existing rules, regulations and arrangements would continue to operate.
But the UK is now seeking some exceptions, and that will complicate matters. The government hopes a deal on the transition can be completed in March, but there's no guarantee that will happen.
Irish border alert - don't think that you've heard the last of it. The language used in the December agreement was a fudge, and it will be difficult to translate into a legal text.
Remember, the UK pledged that - if all else failed - it would maintain full alignment with those rules of the single market and the customs union that affected the border.
The EU isn't sure how that can be done if the UK insists on leaving the single market and the customs union.
There are various legal quirks to be found in small territories around the edges of the EU, but the challenge in Ireland is of a different scale. Creative solutions are required.
Brexit: European Commission receives mandate to begin negotiations with the United Kingdom on transitional arrangements
Brussels, 29 January 2018
The European Commission welcomes today's decision by the General Affairs Council (Article 50) to allow negotiations to begin on possible transitional arrangements following the United Kingdom's orderly withdrawal from the European Union.
These negotiating directives – which supplement the negotiating directives from May 2017 and were based on the Commission's Recommendation of 20 December 2017 – set out additional details on possible transitional arrangements. These include, in particular, the following:
There will be no "cherry picking": The United Kingdom will continue to participate in the Customs Union and the Single Market (with all four freedoms). The Union acquis will continue to apply in full to and in the United Kingdom as if it were a Member State. As a result, the United Kingdom should remain bound by the obligations stemming from agreements with third countries. Any changes made to the acquis during this time should automatically apply to the United Kingdom.
All existing Union regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures will apply, including the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The United Kingdom will be a third country as of 30 March 2019. It will, therefore, no longer be represented in Union institutions, agencies, bodies and offices.
The transition period needs to be clearly defined and precisely limited in time. It should not last beyond 31 December 2020. Consequently, the provisions on citizens' rights in the Withdrawal Agreement should apply as of the end of the transition period.
Today's Negotiating Directives also recall the need to translate into legal terms the results of the first phase of the negotiations, as outlined in the Commission's Communication and Joint Report. It underlines that work needs to be completed on all withdrawal issues, including those not yet addressed in the first phase, such as the overall governance of the Withdrawal Agreement and substantive issues such as intellectual property rights, protection of personal data and customs-related matters needed for the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU.
The Commission will publish in due course a draft legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement, of which transitional arrangements form part. The overall Article 50 Agreement will need to be concluded by the Council (Article 50), the European Parliament and the United Kingdom according to its own constitutional requirements.
On 8 December 2017, the European Commission recommended to the European Council (Art 50) to conclude that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of the Article 50 negotiations with the UK. On 15 December, the leaders of the EU27 confirmed that sufficient progress had been achieved on citizen's rights, Ireland and the financial settlement, and adopted guidelines to move to the second phase of the negotiations. This also follows a resolution on 13 December by the European Parliament confirming that sufficient progress has been made. On 20 December, the European Commission sent a Recommendation to the Council (Art 50) to begin discussions on the next phase of the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
The European Council (Art 50) guidelines of 29 April 2017 as well as the general principles and the procedural arrangements for the conduct of the negotiations established in the Council negotiating directives of 22 May 2017 continue to apply in their entirety to this phase of the negotiations.