BREXIT: EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

After intensive negotiations, the European Commission has reached today an agreement with the United Kingdom on the terms of its future cooperation with the European Union.

The draft Trade and Cooperation Agreement consists of three main pillars:

1. A Free Trade Agreement: a new economic and social partnership with the United Kingdom;

2. A new partnership for our citizens' security;

3. A horizontal agreement on Governance.

Foreign policy, external security and defence cooperation is not covered by the Agreement as the UK did not want to negotiate this matter. As of 1 January 2021, there will therefore be no framework in place between the UK and the EU to develop and coordinate joint responses to foreign policy challenges, for instance the imposition of sanctions on third country nationals or economies.

Next steps

The entry into application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is a matter of special urgency.

  • The United Kingdom, as a former Member State, has extensive links with the Union in a wide range of economic and other areas. If there is no applicable framework regulating the relations between the Union and the United Kingdom after 31 December 2020, those relations will be significantly disrupted, to the detriment of individuals, businesses and other stakeholders.
  • The negotiations could only be finalised at a very late stage before the expiry of the transition period. Such late timing should not jeopardise the European Parliament's right of democratic scrutiny, in accordance with the Treaties.
  • In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Commission proposes to apply the Agreement on a provisional basis, for a limited period of time until 28 February 2021.
  • The Commission will swiftly propose Council decisions on the signature and provisional application, and on the conclusion of the Agreement.
  • The Council, acting by the unanimity of all 27 Member States, will then need to adopt a decision authorising the signature of the Agreement and its provisional application as of 1 January 2021. Once this process is concluded, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK can be formally signed.
  • The European Parliament will then be asked to give its consent to the Agreement.
  • As a last step on the EU side, the Council must adopt the decision on the conclusion of the Agreement.

View the full press release.

View the draft texts and other documents.

View questions & answers: EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

View remarks by Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier at the press conference on the outcome of the EU-UK negotiations.

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