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Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 23 Jun 2021

What is the Joint Committee? 

The Withdrawal Agreement established the Joint Committee – chaired by both the UK and EU – to oversee implementation, application and interpretation of the Agreement. 

UK Cabinet Minister for EU Relations and former UK Chief Brexit Negotiator David Frost chairs for the UK while European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič chairs for the EU.   

Its counterpart for to the Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is the Partnership Council.

The Joint Committee also seeks to resolve any issues that may arise during implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. 

If it fails to do this within three months, either side can invoke the arbitration panel.  

The Joint Committee supervises the work of six Specialised Committees, taking decisions on their recommendations that must be agreed to by both the UK and EU.

The six Specialised Committees cover the following areas: Citizens’ Rights; Other Separate Provisions; Ireland/Northern Ireland; Gibraltar; Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus; and Financial Provisions.  

The Joint Committee can amend the Withdrawal Agreement in a limited number of areas but cannot amend essential elements of it.    

The Withdrawal Agreement requires that the Joint Committee meets at least once per year and must issue an annual report.  

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