Embassy of Finland, London
Brexit and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs31.01.2019
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs monitors Britain’s exit from the EU. Here you’ll find information on the impact of Brexit for citizens and businesses.
On 17 October 2019, the EU and the UK concluded negotiations on a revised Withdrawal Agreement and a revised Political Declaration. At the request of the UK, the agreement adopted by the EU Member States in November 2018 was partly renegotiated. The European Council endorsed the withdrawal package on 17 October 2019. The withdrawal package must still be approved in the UK Parliament and the European Parliament.
The European Council agreed to delay the United Kingdom’s withdrawal date until 31 January 2020. This flexible extension allows the UK to leave the EU even earlier, should the withdrawal agreement take effect prior to that date. In that scenario, Brexit could become effective either on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2020.
The UK withdrawal agreement, which would allow an orderly withdrawal from the EU, is complete. However, both the UK Parliament and the European Parliament must ratify the agreement before it can enter into force.
The primary objective of both the EU and the UK is for the UK to withdraw from the EU in an organised manner.
However, because we cannot be certain that the UK will approve the EU withdrawal agreement, we must also continue to be prepared for the possibility of withdrawal without an agreement.
Withdrawal without an agreement would mean several changes to the position of UK citizens and UK-based businesses in the EU.
Preparation for withdrawal without an agreement is a shared task of EU-level and national-level authorities, including those of Finland, as well as companies and citizens. More information about preparedness measures is available on the websites of the Prime Minister’s Office and the European Commission, for instance.
Each Ministry is responsible for dealing with the aspects of Brexit that affect its administrative branch. Responsibility for the overall coordination of the process lies with the Prime Minister’s Office, whose website provides comprehensive information about Brexit organised by topic.
The administrative branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs includes trade policy, foreign and security policy and development policy, as well as matters concerning consular services. Matters concerning UK citizens and imports and exports to and from the UK are largely the responsibility of authorities other than the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. For example, matters related to travel documents are the responsibility of the police, customs and declaration issues are handled by Customs, requirements related to goods trade are handled by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the transfer of personal data is the responsibility of the Ombudsman for Data Protection.