Considerations on COM(2020)195 - EU position in the Joint Committee to the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU as regards the adoption of a decision to amend the Agreement

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table>(1)The Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (1) (‘the Withdrawal Agreement’) was concluded by the Union by Council Decision (EU) 2020/135 (2) and entered into force on 1 February 2020.
(2)Article 164(5), point (d), of the Withdrawal Agreement empowers the Joint Committee to adopt decisions amending that Agreement, provided that such amendments are necessary to correct errors, to address omissions or other deficiencies, or to address situations that were unforeseen when the Agreement was signed, and provided that such decisions do not amend the essential elements of that Agreement. Pursuant to Article 166(2) of the Withdrawal Agreement, decisions adopted by the Joint Committee are binding on the Union and the United Kingdom. The Union and the United Kingdom must implement such decisions, which have the same legal effect as the Withdrawal Agreement. Pursuant to Article 182 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland form an integral part of that Agreement.

(3)Certain dates referred to in the Withdrawal Agreement had already passed at the moment of its entry into force. Those dates should therefore be amended and corresponding adjustments should be made to the Withdrawal Agreement in the interest of legal certainty.

(4)Article 145 of the Withdrawal Agreement does not contain provisions governing grants under the Research Fund for Coal and Steel that were granted to United Kingdom’s beneficiaries before the end of the transition period. Article 145 of the Withdrawal Agreement should therefore be supplemented in this respect, to provide legal certainty as regards ongoing grants.

(5)By oversight, two decisions of the Administrative Commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems were not listed in Part I of Annex I to the Withdrawal Agreement and eight acts which are essential for the application of the rules of the internal market for goods to Northern Ireland were not listed in Annex 2 to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. Those decisions and acts should therefore be added to those annexes. In addition, three notes are also necessary to further define the scope of application of certain specific acts listed in Annex 2 to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. These notes should therefore be added to Annex 2 to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

(6)The Joint Committee should adopt a decision pursuant to Article 164(5)(d) of the Withdrawal Agreement to address these omissions and deficiencies.

(7)It is therefore appropriate to establish the position to be taken on the Union’s behalf in the Joint Committee,