The draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
Protecting the European Union's interests, ensuring fair competition, and continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest
On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The entry into application of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is a matter of special urgency.
The United Kingdom, as a former Member State, has extensive links with the Union in a wide range of economic and other areas. If there is no applicable framework regulating the relations between the Union and the United Kingdom after 31 December 2020, those relations will be significantly disrupted, to the detriment of individuals, businesses and other stakeholders.
The negotiations could only be finalised at a very late stage before the expiry of the transition period. Such late timing should not jeopardise the European Parliament's right of democratic scrutiny, in accordance with the Treaties.
In light of these exceptional circumstances, the Commission proposes to apply the Agreement on a provisional basis, for a limited period of time until 28 February 2021.
The Council, acting by the unanimity of all 27 Member States, will then need to adopt a decision authorising the signature of the Agreement and its provisional application as of 1 January 2021. Once this process is concluded, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK can be formally signed.
The European Parliament will then be asked to give its consent to the Agreement.
As a last step on the EU side, the Council must adopt the decision on the conclusion of the Agreement.
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