Brexit and businesses – Withdrawal with a deal

During the transition period, the UK will comply with EU law and the obligations of the EU’s international agreements in full. In other words, the UK will participate in the single market and Customs Union and will comply with the EU’s trade agreements “as a Member State”. However, the UK will no longer participate in decision-making or in different bodies in charge of EU affairs.

A joint political declaration on the elements of the future EU–UK relationship is annexed to the withdrawal agreement. Among the matters covered are trade in goods, trade in services, investments, public procurements, protection of intellectual property rights, or equal conditions of competition. 

Negotiations on the future relationship will take place during the transition period, and the conditions of the relationship are set to enter into force once the transition period is over, on 1 January 2021 at the earliest. 

Even if an ambitions future relationship regarding trade and investment is negotiated, its benefits will not correspond to those of the EU single market. This means that new barriers to trade and investment are inevitable. Moreover, a free trade agreement will not solve all trade and investment issues. Businesses should be prepared for having their products subject to customs control in the future. However, the trade agreement can cover customs duties and customs facilitations. 

Given the exceptionally short negotiation period, it is likely that the EU and the UK will not have time to agree on all trade and investment issues by the end of 2020. This means that some sectors may face a situation similar to a now-deal scenario. 

Further information on the possible content of the future relationship will be provided later as the negotiations proceed. 

The tasks of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs include preparing and implementing the European Union’s trade policy, promoting international trade and economic relationships, and providing public authority services abroad to promote exports and investments.