Ullamh 5pts The text as it finally emerged.http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/12/15-statement-informal-meeting-27/The key texts are the following;"3. The Council will be invited to nominate the European Commission as the Union negotiator. The Commission's nomination of Michel Barnier as chief negotiator is welcome. To ensure transparency and build trust, the Union negotiator's team will be ready to integrate a representative of the rotating Presidency of the Council. Representatives of the President of the European Council will be present and participate, in a supporting role, in all negotiation sessions, alongside the European Commission representatives. The Union negotiator will systematically report to the European Council, the Council and its preparatory bodies. 4. Between the meetings of the European Council, the Council and Coreper, assisted by a dedicated Working Party with a permanent chair, will ensure that the negotiations are conducted in line with the European Council guidelines and the Council negotiating directives, and provide guidance to the Union negotiator."The key text within these texts is "in a supporting role".The EP gets a well-deserved brush off, there being nothing either in the treaty texts or precedent to allow its involvement in actual negotiations.The general conclusion is as one might expect i.e. Barnier, as Union negotiator, will play the leading role. The Commission also has to make the necessary recommendations on the mandate.The outcome could never have been otherwise. The Commission has both the competence and the capacity to conduct the negotiations. No other institution has. The actual negotiations threaten to become as tedious as watching paint dry. There is implicit recognition that neither Council staff, nor key staffs in national capitals, can follow them on a continuous basis without serious inroads on their time for other more pressing tasks.No wonder the Telegraph is jumping up and down!