UK-EU Brexit Deal…. What are the details?

Last week PM Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed that a deal was reached. This ends Phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations and means that they can now move on to Phase 2 of the talks around future trade deals.


The main points of agreement between in the UK and EU are:

Ireland and Northern Ireland

  • There will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland including any physical infrastructure or related checks and controls.
  • The Good Friday Agreement will be protected in all its parts.
  • The UK will preserve the integrity of the internal market and Northern Ireland’s place within it.
  • The UK remains committed to protecting and supporting continued North-South and East-West cooperation across the full range of political, economic, security, societal and agricultural contexts and frameworks of co-operation including the continuing operation of the North-South implementation bodies.
  • The UK’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship. Should this not be possible, the United Kingdom will propose specific solutions to address the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland. In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.
  • The citizenship rights of people who choose to identify as Irish, and therefore as EU citizens will be protected.
  • The UK accepts that the Common Travel Area and associated rights can continue in particular with respect to free movement for EU citizens.
  • The UK and the EU will honour their commitments to the PEACE and INTERREG funding programmes and possibility for future support will be examined favourably.

Citizen’s rights

  • EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU will have their rights to live, work and study protected. Rights of their children and partners in ‘existing durable relationships’ are also guaranteed.
  • UK courts will preside over enforcing rights over EU citizens in Britain but can refer unclear cases to the European Court of Justice for eight years after withdrawal.
  • To obtain status under the Withdrawal Agreement, those already holding permanent residence document under EU law will have this document converted into the new document free of charge.

Financial Settlement

  • A financial settlement which is ‘fair to the British taxpayer’ is sought. There is no figure in the document about how much the UK is expected to pay but it does set out how the bill will be calculated. 
  • The UK will contribute to and participate in the implementation of EU annual budgets for 2019 and 2020.
  • The UK will pay its liabilities such as pension contributions.
  • Following withdrawal, the UK will continue to participate in EU programmes financed by Multi Financial Framework 2014-2020 until their closure.
  • The UK considers that there could be mutual benefit from a continuing arrangement between the UK and European Investment Bank
  • The UK will honour commitments it previously made for participating in the Facility for Refugees in Turkey and the EU Emergency Trust fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.
  • The UK will remain party to the European Development Fund which is outside the EU budget. The UK’s capital share will not be recommitted beyond the end of the 11th EDF commitment period.

Six pledges to Northern Ireland

  1. We will always uphold and support Northern Ireland’s status as an integral part of the United Kingdom, consistent with the principle of consent. The Government I lead will never be neutral when it comes to expressing our support for the Union.
  2. We will fully protect and maintain Northern Ireland’s position within the single market of the United Kingdom. This is by far the most important market for Northern Ireland’s goods and services and you will continue to have full and unfettered access to it.
  3. There will be no new borders within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In addition to no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, we will maintain the Common Travel Area throughout these islands.
  4. The whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will leave the EU customs union and the EU single market. Nothing in the agreement I have reached alters that fundamental fact.
  5. We will uphold the commitments and safeguards set out in the Belfast Agreement regarding North-South Co-operation. This will continue to require cross-community support
  6. The whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

NICVA Brexit Articles Timeline

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