The negotiation process
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on EU membership. Leaving the EU won the vote by 51.9 per cent.
On 29 March 2017, the UK gave its notification of withdrawal from the EU, which triggered the two-year negotiation period specified in Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The European Council has subsequently extended the Article 50 period at the United Kingdom’s request.
In the negotiations, the EU is represented by the European Commission, with Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator. The Commission has negotiated with the UK following the guidelines of the European Council and the negotiation instructions issued by the General Affairs Council.
- Information on Brexit negotiations and the EU’s negotiation documents is available on the Commission website
- The website of the Council General Secretariat contains the guidelines, negotiation instructions, conclusions and resolutions, as well as information on the negotiation process.
Discussion in Finland
Prime Minister Antti Rinne represents Finland in the European Council and Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs, represents Finland in the General Affairs Council. In addition, a so-called Article 50 working party has been established to monitor the negotiations and provide guidance. The working party comprises experts from the Member States and holds weekly meetings in Brussels.
In Finland, all ministries are dealing with Brexit, each according to their own area of responsibility. The Finnish positions are coordinated by the Prime Minister's Office, which has submitted several communications on the matter to Parliament (in Finnish).