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New proposal for amending the Political Declaration on Britain's future in Europe

Andrew Duff

Date: 19/03/2019
To resolve the Brexit crisis, the Political Declaration (PD) on the future relationship must be changed. The EU has always said it is willing and ready to do this. But the UK government has never asked the EU to reopen the PD because it means softening Mrs May’s red lines.

This week the European Council will agree provisionally to extend the Article 50 process in order to revise the PD. But the heads of government will need concrete proof early next week that a cross-party coalition of senior MPs will not only seize the initiative to revise the PD – but also that those same MPs have the capacity to deliver a positive Tory-Labour majority on the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) plus revised PD in a Meaningful Vote before 23 May.

Andrew Duff has for many months emphasised the importance of the Political Declaration. He argues that the first draft (22 November) was too tentative in tone, ambiguous in meaning and negative in substance to orientate the UK and EU in the right direction. He proposes here a draft of an amended PD with an upgraded legal status.

In this version of the PD, the relevance of the Irish backstop and its transitional nature is fully explained. The EU’s more consensual language offered to the UK in December and January are included. And room is made for upgrading the status of the Declaration by way of a legal bridge between the WA and PD.

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Andrew Duff's new draft of the Political Declaration was previously published on his website:

Read the full paper here

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