Working with the EU and EU Exit (2 day workshop) - London

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time





United Kingdom

View Map

Event description


Please note that you must have a or defra ALB email address to book.

This workshop has been designed to equip staff with a thorough understanding of how the EU works legally and institutionally.

Who will benefit from attending?

This programme is aimed at staff who are new to their role in working on EU policies that affect the UK.

The workshop focuses on increasing or embedding participants’ knowledge of the EU and its working practices.

Objectives & Outcomes

Participants will gain:

  • a thorough understanding of how the EU treaties and institutions are structured and how EU decisions are made
  • greater knowledge of priority policy areas and the EU’s involvement in them
  • a strong baseline knowledge to support positive policy outcomes through the process of exiting the EU.

Benefits of attending this workshop

Increasing your level of knowledge of the EU will enable you to work more efficiently and more confidently with stakeholders. In turn this will lead to securing better deals for the UK on leaving the EU and forming new partnerships.

There would normally be a cost to attend this course however this cost is being met centrally by our Department.

Agenda for Day 1

09:30 Welcome and participants’ aspirations

An opportunity for participants to network and for the tutors to clarify participants’ aims for the course and existing knowledge and experience of EU work. Review of online learning and quick quiz on it.

09:45 Overview of the EU

This session builds on the information participants may have acquired from the CSL on-line EU module and other sources. The issues will include:

  • the development of the EU including its history and the importance of its Treaties as a legal basis for action

  • the aims and main functions of the EU

  • an introduction to the process of the UK exiting the EU.

Tutor presentation and Q&A.

10:15 The main institutions of the EU

This session focuses on the interaction between the 5 main EU institutions (European Council, Council of Ministers, European Commission, Parliament and Court of Justice) including the role of the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Court and Commission's role on monitoring, enforcement and infractions. This session will stress the importance of the informal methods of working as opposed to the textbook version.

Tutor presentation with visuals and Q&A

11:00 Break

11:15 EU law and its interaction with the UK

EU Treaty powers and how they have progressed over time. Key concepts in EU law. EU competence and its limits. EU legislation and its implementation in UK law. Infringements – EU process and UK risk analysis.

Tutor presentation, plenary discussion and Q&A.

12:00 Decision making in the EU

How the EU decides on its different forms of legislation, policy co-ordination and external action. The formal and informal mechanisms for decision-making, influence and lobbying, including Council and Commission decision-making mechanisms. The legal / procedural rules for EU-third country agreements (for example EU / Canada).

Short tutor presentation and small group discussion of how the EU takes decisions, followed by round-up in plenary.

12:45 Lunch

13:30 The EU budget and other major EU policy areas

The EU budget and its purposes. An overview of budgetary issues of relevance to the UK’s exit negotiations. Other major EU policies (agriculture, fisheries, regional support, energy, transport and the environment etc.)

Overview of EU budgetary issues. A wrap-up of other EU policy areas, with Q&A.

14:15 Practical work 1: Written briefing exercise

Group work on a case study illustrating the process of briefing in Whitehall for negotiations in Brussels in order to achieve the best outcome in the UK’s national interest. The session will cover the role of red lines and fall-back positions. The aim is to raise awareness of the dynamics of EU negotiations, including the need to brief negotiators effectively.

15:00 Break

15:15 Practical work 2: Oral briefing exercise

Participants develop and deliver on oral briefing to others who will role play Senior Civil Servants requiring essential information for a multi-lateral negotiation.

16:00 Review and summary of the day’s learning

Issues to consider

16:30 Close of workshop

Agenda for Day 2

09:30 Welcome and participants’ aspirations

An opportunity for participants to network and for the tutors to clarify participants’ aims for the course and existing knowledge and experience of EU work. Identifying what was new and interesting. What did people find surprising?

09:45 The latest position: An update on progress

The ongoing approach to exit. Latest ministerial priorities. Lessons learned so far.

10:15 The process for exiting the EU including the Repeal Bill

Understanding how Article 50 is applied in practice. Who are the key stakeholders and how are they being co-ordinated. The European Parliament’s role in influencing and endorsing the UK’s exit negotiations. The role of the Repeal Bill and other UK legislation as part of the process of exiting the EU.

Tutor presentation, plenary discussion and Q&A.

11:00 Break

11:15 UK Co-ordination of EU Policy

The respective roles of DExEU, the FCO and other Whitehall Departments in formulating policy. The role of UKRep and other FCO Posts in informing and implementing UK policy and negotiating approaches towards the EU.

Tutor-led explanation and small group discussions of the issues and mechanisms involved.

11:45 UK Parliamentary scrutiny of EU business, now and during the process of exiting the EU

The UK scrutiny process, including ongoing EU work and the UK’s exit negotiations. Signposting to sources of further guidance.

12:30 Lunch

13:15 The EU Single Market and external trade

The EU’s internal market for goods and services. EU external trade deals and negotiations and their relevance, with examples.

A step by step explanation including a group task to check understanding.

14:00 The UK as a third country

The legal / procedural rules for EU-third country agreements. How working practices will change with the UK as a third country. The UK’s relationships with organisations such as the European Economic Area, European Free Trade Association, World Trade Organization and the Council of Europe after leaving the EU.

A tutor-led exploration of the legal and practical issues involved

14:45 ‘Negotiating’ role play

An introduction to an important aspect of EU exit-related negotiations, namely the process of UK co-ordination among Departments and stakeholders. Agreement on priorities, red lines and possible negotiating flexibilities.

15:30 Break

15:45 ‘Negotiating’ role play (continued)

Following on from the earlier session, this focuses on analysing the EU negotiating process and preparing the UK team for multi-lateral negotiations with a view to securing a satisfactory agreement for the UK.

16:30 Course review and action planning for the future

What have you learned during this course about the EU and how will this influence the way you work in future so as to help achieve UK priorities? What are your future learning needs in relation to EU work?

Tutor-led discussion.

If you have any questions then please email

For more information on our courses please visit the Recommended Learning pages on the intranet under EU Exit.

Share with friends

Date and Time




United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved