The European Union and the United Kingdom have been negotiating a trade agreement since the UK`s decision to leave the EU. The two sides have been discussing the terms of their future relationship in various areas, including trade in goods and services, fisheries, and level playing field provisions.
After months of discussions, on December 24, 2020, the EU and the UK reached a post-Brexit trade agreement, which was welcomed as a relief to many businesses that were concerned about the impact of a no-deal outcome. The agreement aims to ensure that there is no tariffs or quotas on goods traded between the EU and the UK, and provides for cooperation in a number of areas, including transport, energy, and law enforcement.
Under the agreement, UK businesses now have the opportunity to continue selling their goods and services to the EU without being subject to tariffs or quotas. The agreement also allows for continued access for EU businesses to the UK market, although there may be some changes to the terms of trade, particularly for services.
The fishing industry has been a contentious issue in the negotiations, with the EU and the UK disagreeing on the access that EU vessels should have to UK waters. The trade agreement sets out a framework for fishing, with some access for EU vessels to UK waters, but with a reduced quota over a transition period.
Another key issue in the negotiations was the level playing field provisions, which refer to the rules and standards in areas such as environmental protection and workers` rights. The agreement includes a commitment to maintain high standards in these areas, although there is some flexibility for the UK to diverge from EU standards in certain areas.
Overall, the post-Brexit trade agreement between the EU and the UK provides some certainty for businesses trading between the two markets, and offers a framework for continued cooperation in various areas. However, there are still some uncertainties around the implementation of the agreement, and some businesses may face additional costs or administrative burdens as a result of the changes.