September 13, 2021

The decision to leave the European Union (Brexit) was notified to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on 29th March 2017 by British Prime Minister Theresa May. However, withdrawal is not a unilateral act and, in accordance with Article 50(2) TEU, `a Member State which decides to withdraw it shall notify the European Council of its intention. Taking into account the guidelines laid down by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and exclude with that State an agreement laying down the modalities of its withdrawal, taking into account the framework of its future relations with the Union. This Agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). It shall be concluded, on behalf of the Union, by the Council by a qualified majority, after consent of the European Parliament. Therefore, the negotiations should in principle lead to a negotiated bilateral act. In November 2018, the government announced air agreements with the United States, Canada and eight other countries to secure flights after Brexit. Cooperation agreements with Australia, Canada and the United States on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on security measures related to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons were also presented to Parliament in November. Through its accession to the EU, the UK is a party to a large number of EU international agreements covering a number of sectors [footnote 1] and with more than 100 partner countries. If the UK leaves the EU, it will leave the international agreements it currently joins due to its accession to the EU. The Government is committed to preserving the relationship governed by many of these agreements.

A report by the International Trade Select Committee published in February 2018 warned that trade with 70 nations “falls from a stumbling block” if the government does not act quickly to shake up EU trade agreements. There is also an urgent need for clarity “on the number, nature, scale, scale and importance of EU trade agreements”. He also warned of the need for substantial changes to roll-over agreements. The EEA Agreement was signed on 2 May 1992 by Austria, Finland and Sweden (in particular) as non-EU Member States. On 1 January 1995, these three states became members of the EU. Two legal options would have been possible for the EEA. Either these new EU Member States should have the EEA Agreement as EU Member States (as Art. 128 EEA applications) or the agreement on the accession of these three countries to the EU should have contained specific legislation regulating their situation with regard to that agreement.

In the “Act (94/C 241/08) concerning the conditions of accession of the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is based”, Article . . .

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