The UK left the EU on Friday 31 January 2020 on the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.
On 24 December 2020, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which is effective from the end of the transition period. The Agreement will provide for tariff-free, quota-free trade and for sectoral cooperation in a number of important areas. The European Commission has provided more information on the Agreement on its website. Given the late stage at which the negotiations were finalised, the Agreement is being provisionally applied for a period from 1 January while procedures to conclude the agreement are completed.
The Agreement provides for tariff and quota free goods trade, transport and energy connectivity, and cooperation between police services. It protects the Single Market that is so important for our future prosperity and ensures fair competition for our businesses. For more information on the agreement, please click here.
It is important to note that even with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in place, there will be significant and lasting change to the EU’s relationship with the UK. As of 1 January, the UK is outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union. This means new procedures apply for businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland. The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed earlier with the UK, means that no new procedures will apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Businesses and citizens should continue as a matter of urgency with the steps set out in the Government's Brexit Readiness Action Plan.