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Eu Uk Agreement December 2020

The EU-UK Agreement: Understanding the Key Highlights

On December 24, 2020, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) reached a historic agreement, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The agreement sets out the terms of the future relationship between the two entities, marking the end of over four years of negotiations since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The agreement represents a significant milestone for both parties and has far-reaching implications for businesses, individuals, and governments across the UK and EU. Here are some key highlights of the agreement:

Trade in Goods

The agreement seeks to ensure tariff-free and quota-free trade in goods between the EU and the UK. However, there will be new customs procedures and regulatory checks that businesses will need to comply with when exporting or importing goods between the two entities. The agreement also includes provisions for resolving disputes related to the interpretation and implementation of the agreement.

Services and Investment

The agreement provides for limited access to the EU`s single market for UK service providers, allowing them to provide certain services in the EU on a temporary and time-limited basis. The agreement also provides for continued cooperation on investment, including the protection of intellectual property, and mutual recognition of professional qualifications.

Travel and Transport

The agreement guarantees visa-free travel for short-term visits between the EU and the UK. However, there will be new restrictions on the movement of people between the two entities, including requirements for entry and exit checks at borders. The agreement also includes provisions for continued cooperation on aviation safety and security.


The agreement provides for a five-and-a-half-year transition period during which the EU will gradually reduce its fishing quotas in UK waters. After the transition period, the UK will have full control over its waters and will be able to set its own fishing quotas. The agreement also includes provisions for continued cooperation on fisheries management.

Level Playing Field

The agreement includes provisions to ensure a level playing field for businesses operating in the EU and the UK. This includes commitments to maintain high standards of environmental protection, labor rights, and state aid rules. The agreement also includes a mechanism to ensure that either party can take swift and effective action if the other party deviates from these commitments.

Overall, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement represents a significant achievement for both the EU and the UK. While there will be new challenges and adjustments for businesses and individuals, the agreement provides a framework for a stable and predictable relationship between the two entities going forward.


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