The UK-EU Agreement of 24 December 2020: What You Need to Know
On Christmas Eve, the UK and the EU finally reached a trade deal, just a week before the end of the Brexit transition period. This agreement, officially known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, sets out the terms of the future relationship between the two sides, covering everything from trade and fishing to security and data.
Here are the key points you need to know about the UK-EU Agreement of 24 December 2020:
1. Free trade
The agreement ensures that there will be no tariffs or quotas on goods traded between the UK and the EU, as long as those goods meet the agreed rules of origin. This means that UK businesses can continue to sell their products and services tariff-free to the EU, and vice versa.
2. Fishing rights
The agreement sets out a new framework for fishing in UK waters, with the UK regaining control of its waters and reducing EU fishing quotas over a five-year transition period. However, EU boats will still be allowed to fish in UK waters, subject to certain conditions.
3. Level playing field
The agreement includes provisions to ensure fair competition between the UK and the EU, with commitments to maintain high labour and environmental standards. However, the UK is no longer bound by EU laws and regulations, which will allow it to pursue its own trade policies and regulations.
4. Security and data
The agreement includes provisions for cooperation on security and law enforcement, as well as data protection and privacy. The UK will continue to participate in some EU programs, such as Europol, but will no longer be part of the European Arrest Warrant system.
5. Future negotiations
The agreement is a starting point for the UK and the EU, and both sides have committed to continuing negotiations on a range of issues, including financial services and data adequacy. The agreement also includes a review clause, which allows for periodic evaluation and updates to the agreement.
Overall, the UK-EU Agreement of 24 December 2020 provides some much-needed clarity and stability for businesses and individuals on both sides of the Channel. However, there are still many details to be worked out, and the long-term implications of Brexit will continue to be felt for years to come.