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.
With the UK's withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, a transition period will begin until the end of 2020. During the transition period, the current rules will continue to be in place as if the UK were still a member of the EU. The EU and the UK will negotiate their future relationship during 2020.
Due to the tight negotiation schedule, some sectors may fall outside the scope of the agreement starting on 1 January 2021. Businesses in particular should be prepared for this possibility.
Withdrawal agreement and transition period
The EU–UK withdrawal agreement enters into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement will dismantle all cooperation based on the UK’s EU membership in an orderly manner. The withdrawal agreement does not lay down provisions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the relationship between the EU and the UK will continue under the EU’s current rules, as if the UK were still a member of the EU. For businesses, this means that the UK will remain part of the single market and Customs Union and will comply with EU’s international agreements as before. The only significant exception is that, during the transition period, the UK will no longer participate in EU decision-making or in the activities of EU bodies.
Future relationship between the EU and the UK
The EU and the UK will negotiate their future relationship during 2020. The intention is that the EU and the UK agree on cooperation arrangements, among other matters. In the administrative branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these arrangements cover trade and investment, among other sectors. Given the exceptionally tight negotiating schedule, it is possible that the EU and the UK will not have time to agree on everything by the end of the year. The aim is for the future relationship to enter into force once the transition period is over on 1 January 2021. Further information on the future relationship will be provided later as the negotiations proceed.
Brexit coordination in Finland
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.