Future partnership negotiations
Following the UK’s official withdrawal from the Union on 31 January 2020, negotiations on the future partnership between the EU and the UK could begin.
The first round of negotiations was held in Brussels on 2 March 2020. Between March and December 2020, the EU and the UK negotiated a set of agreements to guide and govern the future partnership.
On 24 December 2020, the EU concluded an agreement with the UK, which sets the conditions for their future cooperation. Three key agreements were signed by the EU and the UK on 30 December 2020:
- trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and Great Britain
- EU-UK information security agreement
- Cooperation agreement between the EU and Great Britain on the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy
These agreements were applied temporarily from 1eh January 2021 and entered into force on 1eh May 2021.
Trade and cooperation agreement
L’trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and Great Britain is a key agreement governing the post-Brexit relationship. The agreement was signed on 30 December 2020 and provisionally applied from 1eh January 2021. It entered into force on 1eh May 2021.
The agreement guarantees fair competition, continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest and respect for fundamental rights. This agreement consists of:
- a free trade agreement that ensures ambitious cooperation in the economic, social, environmental and fisheries fields
- a close partnership on citizens’ safety
- an overall management framework
The trade and cooperation agreement goes beyond traditional free trade agreements. It provides preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and services, intellectual property, public procurement, transport, thematic cooperation and participation in EU programmes.
The agreement also establishes a new framework for law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters. Thanks to a chapter dedicated to governance, the agreement provides maximum legal certainty and clarity for businesses, consumers and citizens as to how the agreement will be implemented and monitored.
As part of the trade and cooperation agreement, the EU and the UK have agreed on a new framework for joint management of fish stocks in EU and UK waters. Within this framework, the UK can continue to develop British fishing activities, but the activities and livelihoods of European fishing communities will nevertheless be protected and natural resources preserved.
In accordance with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the EU and the UK will carry out annual consultations to determine their respective rights for the common fish stocks.
Information Security Agreement
L’EU-UK agreement on information security was signed by both parties on 30 December 2020 and provisionally applied from 1eh January 2021. It entered into force on 1eh May 2021.
The agreement strengthens the cooperation between the EU and Great Britain regarding common security threats through the exchange of classified information.
Cooperation in nuclear energy
L’Cooperation agreement between the EU and Great Britain on the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed and ratified by the EU and the UK on 30 December 2020. It was applied temporarily from 1.eh January 2021 and entered into force on 1eh May 2021.
The agreement allows for cooperation on the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy and includes obligations from both parties to comply with their international non-proliferation obligations and to maintain high nuclear safety standards.
The agreement also allows continue the exchange of information and radiological data. In the event of a nuclear accident, this will allow for early notification, reliable information and rapid coordination between EU Member States and the UK.
In October 2021, the Council adopted a decision to open negotiations on an agreement between the EU and the UK on Gibraltar. On this basis, the European Commission can open formal negotiations with the United Kingdom.
The purpose of the negotiations is to establish a broad and balanced agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom, taking into account Gibraltar’s special geographical situation and special circumstances. The agreement should not affect issues of sovereignty and jurisdiction.