Following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU, which already took place on February 1, 2020, the United Kingdom has now also left the single market and the customs union at the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020. The trade and cooperation agreement agreed shortly beforehand has been in force provisionally since January 1, 2021, and has governed relations between the EU and the United Kingdom since then.

A few days before the end of the transitional period, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) agreed on a on December 24, 2020. Following approval by all 27 EU member states on December 29, 2020, and by the UK Parliament on December 30, 2020, the agreement entered into force provisionally on January 1, 2021. It was thus possible to prevent the transitional phase without follow-up regulation from expiring just in time. However, full ratification of the agreement still requires the approval of the European Parliament.
The EU and the UK continue to be close partners. Many companies and employees on both sides rely on intensive cooperation. The agreement now reached is an expression of the continued close relationship between the EU and the UK. The agreement provides clarity for all and lays the foundation for a comprehensive economic partnership in the future as well.
Nevertheless, the end of the transitional phase and the new trade and cooperation agreement mean that companies and employees must prepare themselves. Divergent national regulations - for example on residence and the recognition of qualifications - will make it much more difficult to provide services in the future, and in some cases also to post employees within the Group.
Between the UK's withdrawal from the EU on February 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the withdrawal agreement has so far regulated the transition and contributed to planning security for companies and citizens in important areas. EU law continued to apply in and for the United Kingdom until the end of the transition phase on December 31, 2020. In addition, the withdrawal agreement secures the rights of citizens () who have exercised their right to freedom of movement before the end of the transition period.

21. November 2020

Social dialogue