EU Council adopts EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement

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BRUSSELS, Belgium — The EU Council has adopted, by written procedure, the decision on the signing of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its provisional application as of January 1, 2021, pending the consent of the European Parliament and conclusion by the Council decision next year.

The agreement will now be signed by the two parties on December 30, 2020. European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will sign in Brussels on behalf of the European Union while prime minister Boris Johnson will sign in London on behalf of the United Kingdom.

After the formal signing, the decision adopted today on the signature and provisional application and the agreement itself will be published in the Official Journal of the EU in all languages and will be provisionally applied from January 1, 2021.

Next steps

Next year, the Council will adopt the decision on the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, once the European parliament has given its consent and once all procedures necessary for the entry into force have been completed.

Background

On June 23, 2016, UK citizens voted to leave the EU. On  March 29, 2017, the UK formally notified the European Council of its intention to leave the EU. On October 17, 2019, the European Council (Article 50) endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement as agreed by the negotiators of both sides. It also endorsed the revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, at midnight (CET) and the withdrawal agreement entered into force on February 1, 2020.

Negotiations on the future partnership between the EU and the UK started on March 2, 2020.

In June 2020, the UK decided not to seek an extension to the transition period. The transition period will therefore end on December 31, 2020.

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