Michael Gove discusses changes to EU travel after Brexit
The UK formally left the European Union on January 31, 2020. A deal has now been agreed between the UK and EU which contains new rules about how each bloc will live, work and trade together. But despite this deal being agreed, negotiations are far from concluded. But how is the UK required to negotiate with every EU country in 2021?
As the deadline drew closer, the UK and EU struck a Brexit deal which will have ramifications for everyday life and the future relationships between the two blocs.
The agreement outlines terms for the future of the following areas: trade, travel, fishing, the European Court of Justice, security and study programmes.
The deal is 1,246 pages long with various summaries, side agreements and additional political declarations on sensitive issues.
The agreement will make trade between the UK and the EU more complicated than it has been while Britain was a member of the bloc.
But when countries agree to free trade agreements, there is the potential for better trading relationships to be formed.
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EU officials are meeting today (Monday, December 28) to discuss the Brexit trade deal agreed with the UK on Christmas Eve.
The agreement covers £660billion of trade which can be provisionally approved by EU ambassadors on Monday.
The deal will then move to formal ratification by the European Parliament.
The Brexit agreement will be passed by the UK parliament, with the Labour Party backing what it claims to be a “thin” treaty.
But even with the new deal, the UK will be forced to negotiate with every EU country in the next year.
Professor Alex de Ruyter, Director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University said that several elements of Brexit will still need to be negotiated in the future.
He told Express.co.uk: “I suspect that there will be ongoing wrangles over equivalence, as well as further discussions about fish.
“No doubt there will be a desire to continue collaborating on issues of mutual interest, such as research funding.
“There are various agencies that exist that the UK is likely to want to collaborate with (on issues like aviation safety, medicines safety etc.).
“I think it’s also likely that the UK and EU will want to cooperate on a number of standards. In the medium term, the UK and EU will both evolve – this relationship will not be static.
“I can’t see us re-joining the EU any time soon, but I wouldn’t rule out a closer relationship in future.”
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As with many trade deals, there are frequent references to so-called “reservations”.
These reservations are areas with mixed competencies, where some power lies with member states and some with the European Commission.
Market access and regulation, therefore, need to be determined by each individual member state.
This means for instance that anyone who does not speak German will require a legal translation on implications for financial services from national reservations there.
This exact principle will also apply in fields such as criminal records.
As an EU member, the UK was automatically part of around 40 trade deals which the EU had with more than 70 countries.
These deals represented a total of 11 percent of UK trade in 2018.
Thus far, 29 of these existing deals, covering 58 countries or territories, have been rolled over and will start on January 1, 2021.
The most recent trade deal to be agreed was between the UK and Mexico on December 15.
Trade talks are currently ongoing with at least 10 countries or blocs.
Any agreements not finalised before December 31, will mean future trading terms will be on World Trade Organization terms.
The UK government holds trade talks with several countries including the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
According to the gov.uk website, these signed trade agreements are expected to be in effect from January 1, 2021.
Agreements with Canada and Mexico have been signed by are not expected to be fully in effect from January 1.
Discussions with Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Ghana, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are still ongoing.
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