Lock sets out challenges for future EU and UK relationship

Dr Tobias Lock addresses the challenges of future EU negotiations in a new report for the Scottish Parliament's European Committee. 

The complexity of the next phase of the Article 50 withdrawal negotiations and the subsequent negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU are set out in research published this week by the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations (CTEER) Committee.

The report, prepared for the Committee by Dr Tobias Lock of Edinburgh Law School, addresses the legal, political and time constraints that will shape the negotiation and conclusion of the withdrawal agreement, subsequent transitional arrangements and the final agreement on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

CTEER Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP said:  

“There is a lot of misunderstanding about the next stages in the negotiations and what can and cannot be negotiated. This report will, I hope, bring some realism and clarity to the debate on Brexit and improve understanding of the implications of Brexit for all of us.  

“The guidelines agreed at last week’s European Council meeting also show that the EU27 are looking for clarity from the UK on the “end state” relationship that it wants with the EU. We need to pay more attention to the position of the EU27 and the constraints that the European Union will operate under in negotiating the future relationship and this report is therefore vital reading for those who want to understand how our future will be determined.”  

Deputy Convener to the CTEER Committee, Lewis Macdonald MSP said:  

“These research findings have identified important issues in the transition period that need addressed and reflect the very complex processes that lie ahead. Its publication is particularly timely in light of the agreement of the guidelines adopted at the December European Council meeting”.  

Read the full report: The legal and political process for agreeing the future relationship between the EU and the UK and any transitional agreement