Article 50 Terms of Reference

The United Kingdom and the European Commission, representing the EU, share the understanding that the following elements will guide the negotiations under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU):

Negotiation Structure

  • The negotiating rounds will consist of plenary sessions and negotiating group meetings.
  • Plenary negotiating sessions should be co-chaired by the Principals and/or Coordinators who have the overall responsibility for managing the negotiating process and provide necessary guidance, as appropriate.
  • The following initial negotiating groups have been established:
    – Citizens’ rights;
    – Financial Settlement;
    – Other Separation issues.
    In addition, a dialogue on Ireland / Northern Ireland has been launched under the authority of the Coordinators.
  • The Principals may decide to establish additional working groups, subgroups or organise breakout sessions.
  • Each round of negotiations should comprise public officials of both sides only.

Negotiating texts and other negotiating documents

  • Negotiation texts that are intended for discussion at any negotiating round should be shared at least one week in advance wherever possible.
    Frequency of Negotiating Rounds
  • Negotiation rounds will be organised once every 4 weeks in principle, unless otherwise decided by mutual consent. Negotiators may meet intersessionally to prepare negotiations, as required. 19 June 2017
  • Indicative dates for first sessions have been agreed as per paragraph 9 below. Each round will include discussion of each of the issues set out in Paragraph 3.
  • Indicative dates are:
    – Opening: 19th June
    – Second round: w/c 17th July
    – Third round: w/c 28th August
    – Fourth round: w/c 18th September
    – Fifth round: w/c 9th October


  • English and French will be used, as working languages, during negotiations and in working documents. Interpretation will be provided by the European Commission.


  • For both parties the default is transparency.
  • It is for the Party providing the information to state what, if any, restrictions should apply to their further distribution.
  • Any disclosure by either the United Kingdom or the European Commission of documents originating from the other Party will be subject to prior consultation of the originating party.
  • Both Parties will handle negotiating documents in accordance with their respective legislation.

Public messaging

  • Where possible, both Parties will seek to agree public statements relating to negotiating rounds.

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