Transparency in Brexit Negotiations

This post is also available in: Italian

European Alternatives has been working to promote transparency in the Brexit negotiations which will be critical for the future of the European Union and in particular for the future of the rights of European citizens. As citizens of European countries, we have the right to know about how decisions which affect us are taken.


Here is a timeline since 2016 of how European Alternatives taking action to ensure transparency in the negotiations:

  • In February 2016, the European Council made a proposal to David Cameron on what would be the deal for the UK if the UK voted remain. Inside that deal was an agreement that the UK would be able to put a temporary limit on inward migration from the EU. This was called the ‘safeguard mechanism’.
  • On 2nd May 2016, working with our partners the Goodlobby, we filed a freedom of information request to see the documents about the safeguard mechanism, to see how it was justified to limit the rights of mobile EU citizens coming to the UK

  • On 24th June, the UK voted to leave the European Union

  • The Commission should have replied within 15 days to our appeal. Since it was taking so long in November 2016, we appealed to the European Ombudsman, who is responsible for ensuring good administration.

  • On the 16th January, we complained to the Ombudsman about the Commission’s grounds for refusal

  • The European Ombudsman opened an inquiry into the complaint, and requested that the European Commission allow her team to see the documents they refuse to show to us

  • On 14 March, the Ombudsman opens an inquiry into transparency of the European Council

  • On 24th March, the Ombudsman emphasises again the transparency of Council in negotiations around Brexit

  • On 26th March, the European Commission says it is considering publishing publicly its negotiating positions around Brexit

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