Reasons for and objectives of the proposal
The United Kingdom submitted on 29 March 2017 the notification of its intention to withdraw from the Union pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. This means that, if the Withdrawal Agreement1 is not ratified, the Unions’ primary and secondary law will cease to apply to the United Kingdom from 30 March 2019 (‘the withdrawal date’). The United Kingdom will then become a third country.
The Commission Communication on ‘Preparing for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March 2019: a Contingency Action Plan’2 states that ‘The Commission is also committed to ensuring the continuation of the current PEACE and INTERREG programmes between the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to which the United Kingdom is a partner’.
The European Council (Article 50) reiterated its call, on 13 December 2018, for work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes. This act is part of a package of measures which the Commission is adopting in response to this call.
This proposal aims to ensure the continuation of two bilateral cooperation programmes involving Ireland namely the PEACE IV (Ireland-United Kingdom) programme and the United Kingdom-Ireland (Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland) programme.
Consistency with existing policy provisions in the policy area
This proposal aims at the continuation of existing programmes.
Consistency with other Union policies
This proposal is fully consistent with the Council mandate for the negotiations with the United Kingdom on its withdrawal from the Union3.