On 28 February, the European Commission published a 119-page draft withdrawal agreement (AV). The conclusions of the Phase 1 negotiations, agreed in a joint report of 8 December 2017, as well as other draft articles on topics not covered by the joint report, as well as detailed provisions on large parts of the agreement, have thus been translated into the legal language. In the United Kingdom, the government has committed to vote on a resolution in both houses of Parliament before EPEP votes, where each parliament is asked to approve the withdrawal agreement. ESTV partners who will continue to enjoy preferential access to the UK market under the draft withdrawal agreement may not feel compelled to keep their markets open to BRITISH exports or may try to obtain a higher price. The extent to which they could cope with this threat would probably depend on the EU`s willingness to commit on behalf of the UNITED Kingdom to keep these markets open to their exporters. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK will remain in the internal market, to ensure the smooth flow of trade until a long-term relationship is concluded. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave the single market without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on future relations between the EU and the UK. This approach was supported by the UK government in its technical note on international agreements published on 8 February 2018.
He said: „The UK believes that the best approach would be for the parties to confirm that these agreements continue to apply to the UK for the duration of the transposition period and that the UK should be treated in the same way as EU member states for the purposes of these agreements. This objective would be achieved by the agreement of the parties in order to interpret relevant terms in these international agreements, such as `European Union` or `EU Member State`, in order to include the UNITED Kingdom. This is precisely the purpose of Articles 6 and 122, paragraph 6, of the withdrawal agreement. The first draft withdrawal agreement was based on the joint report. However, since two of the three options can only come into force as part of discussions on future relationships, a protocol has been established that legally specifies how Option 3 can be operational. The draft withdrawal agreement provides that this protocol will no longer apply when a future agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom is concluded on the particular circumstances of the Island of Ireland, including avoiding a hard border and protecting the 1998 Belfast Agreement („Good Friday“) in all its dimensions. The United Kingdom favours achieving these objectives through eu-UK relations as a whole (Scenario 1 in the joint report). If this is not possible, the United Kingdom has agreed to propose specific solutions to deal with the particular circumstances of the Island of Ireland (Scenario 2). The third part, „Separation Provisions,“ contains the first text on withdrawal issues, which the joint report marked, but which has not been thoroughly reviewed, stating that they will be expanded during the second phase of the negotiations. It contains provisions relating to access to the goods market, customs matters, vat and excise in progress, intellectual property, police and judicial cooperation in criminal and commercial matters, protection of data obtained before the transition, ongoing procedures for public procurement, euratom issues, ongoing euratom and administrative proceedings , privileges and immunities, as well as some provisions on the functioning of eu institutions.