Implementation and enforcement of the UK Withdrawal Agreement

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Stellungnahme des Ausschusses: Implementation and enforcement of the UK Withdrawal Agreement

Both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom allow a Party to adopt and apply certain measures in order to induce compliance by the other Party with a ruling delivered by an arbitration tribunal or panel. Such measures are temporary remedies applied until full compliance is achieved. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement also provides for compensatory measures, which are authorised by an arbitration tribunal at the request of a Party, if the other Party has been found to have applied remedial measures that are significantly inconsistent with the applicable provisions.

There are no precedents of any policy provisions governing the withdrawal of, and the European Union’s partnership with, a former Member State. The unprecedented nature of the system formed by the Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is particularly noteworthy in the case of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland to the Withdrawal Agreement, which allows the United Kingdom to participate in the single market for goods in respect of Northern Ireland.

The proposed regulation is intended to apply instead of the empowerment given to the Commission in the above mentioned Council decision on the conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Following the adoption of the proposed Regulation, the Commission will therefore submit a proposal for the repeal of the relevant parts of that Decision.

 

The EESC:

  • Acknowledges that the proposed Regulation empowers the EU Commission to adopt and apply certain measures for the exercise of the Union's rights under the provisions of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
  • Acknowledges that the Parties to the relevant Agreements are the United Kingdom and the Union only. It therefore agrees that it is entirely appropriate that initiation of any action would lie at Union level, with recourse to comitology procedures, as set out in the proposed Regulation.
  • Agrees that the Union needs an agile and effective procedure in the event of the United Kingdom's non-compliance with the Withdrawal Agreement and/or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
  • Agrees that the recourse to comitology procedures as a way to empower the Commission to adopt and apply certain measures in the event of breaches of or non-compliance with the relevant Agreements is fully justified, and is in accordance with the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity that necessarily determine EU action
  • Welcomes the proposal for a review of the Regulation five years after its entry into force, and notes that this would be in line with similar provisions in the relevant Agreements.
  • Supports the proposed Regulation. Furthermore, it maintains that this is an excellent inter-institutional compromise to deal with any eventualities arising from a breach of or non-compliance with the Withdrawal Agreement and/or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement