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TISA News Briefing: Brexit deal completed (31st December 2020)

January 6, 2021

Brexit deal completed: The clock is no longer ticking
31st December 2020

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The EU (Future Relationship) Bill completed all of its Parliamentary stages on Wednesday 30th December 2020, and shortly after received Royal Assent to be signed into law. The UK and the EU also officially signed the treaty on the future trading relationship. 

The Bill passed with a majority of 521 votes to 73 in the House of Commons, a substantial majority. 

AT 23.00 GMT on 31st December, the UK-EU post-Brexit transition period came to an end, and the new trading relationship between the UK and the EU was put into effect. 

End of Transition Period 

  • At 23.00 GMT (midnight Brussels time) on 31st December the UK ceased participation in the EU Single Market and Customs Union, as the post-Brexit transition period came to an end. The new UK-EU future relationship agreement has now come into force. This has created a number of major changes including: 
  • Existing EU international treaties now cease to apply to the UK, including trade agreements the EU has signed with third countries. New international trade agreements which the Government has negotiated over the transition period, including with 63 countries outside of the EU, are now in effect. 
  • The current EU system of free movement of people has ended in the UK. The UK and the EU have agreed that visa-free travel, including for short business trips, is limited to 90 days in any 180-day period going forward. 
  • The European Court of Justice has now ceased to have direct legal jurisdiction in Great Britain (it still has a role in Northern Ireland, as per the Northern Ireland Protocol). 
  • Existing EU-wide access arrangements for financial services has come to an end. The EU is expected to make a unilateral decision on equivalence arrangements for UK financial services later this year.
  • New border checks are required on goods travelling between Great Britain and the EU. This includes new customs, regulatory and rules of origin checks on goods moving between the UK and the EU. Although the deal reached between the UK and the EU will reduce the prospect for border disruption, the introduction of these new arrangements (including the phase-in of the Government’s new Border Operating Model with the EU) will likely present a number of short-term logistical challenges. 
  • New arrangements to govern trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will take effect, as per the Northern Ireland Protocol, including internal customs checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  

Please also see analysis by Cicero/AMO, containing:

  • Overview 
  • Summary of Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen’s respective press conferences
  • Next steps and ratification processes
  • Final political analysis