The governance arrangements within the overarching framework should consist of two core parts: political oversight and a joint committee. There should also be provision for consultation. The specific formation and arrangements for this framework would, of course, be a matter for discussion.
4.2.a Political oversight
The political oversight levelwould provide strategic direction and be the forum for the highest level decisions about the Partnership. lt would provide for ministers and leaders from the UK and the EU to set the direction for the development of the future relationship; discuss and determine how and when changes to the relationship are necessary and ensure accountability to our Parliaments.
This should take the form of regular (e.g. biannual) leader level summits, and formal and informal ministerial dialogue where it is needed.
This political forum will give the parties the necessary flexibility to respond to any unforeseen challenges’ For example enabling the partnership to respond rapidly to new global crises or to change its approach in response to changing objectives over time. The political forum will effectively act as a future-proofing tool for the partnership.
lnterparliamentary dialogue between the UK Parliament and the European Parliament can also be provided for if this is relevant for the agreement in question.
4.2.b Joint committee
Within the overarching framework, the Joint Committee would be made up of officials from both parties and be jointly chaired. The committee should be responsible for the functioning of the partnership, following the direction set by the Political oversight forum.
The Joint committee will provide a means for the parties to exchange information and consult each other. This process of consultation and exchange will help avoid disputes arising, and ensure consistent interpretation and application of relevant provisions of the agreements.
Where relevant, the committee will be able to make binding decisions to drive forward the partnership and resolve issues. This will facilitate the implementation of the various components of the partnership, and mitigate disputes that may arise.
Where appropriate, the Joint Committee may establish sub-committees and working groups on a sectoral or policy-specific basis. The Committee will also be able to carry out joint monitoring and supervisory functions to identify emerging issues.
Many international agreements, such as CETA, the free trade agreement between the EU and Korea and all US free trade agreements establish joint committees to oversee the agreements.
Consultation will ensure that the parties can exchange information and advice from each other’s experts where mutually beneficial to the functioning of the agreements or cooperation within it. This consultation will mainly, but not exclusively, be conducted through the political oversight forum and the Joint Committee.
For example, to ensure there is a sufficient exchange of expertise, perspectives and information, the UK and the EU should facilitate the exchange of expertise. This will enable the partnership to function effectively.