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The next step in the UK and EU agreeing a Brexit transitional deal

  • United Kingdom
  • Brexit
  • Competition, EU and Trade - Brexit


Today the UK and the EU agreed the terms of a transitional period to expire on 31 December 2020 as well as terms relating to citizens’ rights (the UK accepting the EU’s position in this regard for EU citizens arriving in the UK during transition), recognition of professional qualifications during transition, provisions for goods placed on the market (including ongoing customs procedures), continued protection in the UK of registered IP rights and the principles, if not the final amount, of the financial settlement.

The negotiating parties have agreed the text on the scope of the transition period, providing for Union law to apply to the UK during this period, with some minor exceptions. There is a clear statement that during this period, Union law “shall produce in respect of and in the United Kingdom the same legal effects as those which it produces within the Union and its member states and shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with the same methods and general principles as those applicable within the Union”. The UK may sign international agreements it negotiates with third countries during transition provided that those agreements do not actually enter into force during transition.

In terms of judicial co-operation in civil matters, continuity of provisions relating to applicable law and non-contractual claims is agreed up to 31 December 2020. However, in relation to jurisdiction, enforcement of judgments and processing of personal data, no agreement on text has been achieved at this point in time.

The text now goes for approval at the European Council meeting later this week. This is not to say that all issues in the proposed withdrawal agreement are settled and the main outstanding issue continues to be the Irish border.

Once the terms of the transitional agreement has been agreed by the European Council we will issue a further indepth article.