The UK left the European Union on January 31 2020 and has now entered into a new Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, which came into force on 1 January 2021.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement runs to 1200 pages and provides a comprehensive framework for the UK's future relationship with the EU as a third country.
The immigration regime already adopted by the UK and the EU last year to manage settlement status and visas of UK nationals living in the EU and vice versa will continue to be implemented and the new trade agreement has not sought to change any part of this.
More information on UK nationals traveling to or living in the EU, and the EU Settlement Scheme for EU nationals living in the UK can be found in our article, 'The End of the Brexit Transition Period - Reminders for Employers'.
The trade agreement does provide for the tariff free trading of goods between the UK and the EU which will be of benefit to businesses and consumers. However, for most businesses with EU (and Northern Irish) customers and supply chains, there will be additional processes that need to be followed in the import and export of goods.
An overview of the changes to trade under the agreement can be found in our article, 'Brexit - Our New Relationship with the European Union'.
It is not yet clear what the rules on State aid will be between the EU and the UK, as the existing EU State aid regime will cease to apply to the UK. For now, public bodies (and potential recipients of State aid) will need to refer to the WTO rules on subsidies, overlaid with principles set out in the UK's agreement with the EU.
More details on the State aid rules and implications of Brexit can be found in our article, 'Procurement, State Aid, and the Brexit Transition - What Happens Now?'.
The relationship between the UK and the EU on data protection is still to be determined. A transition period for the flow of data has been agreed until at least 30 April 2021 (extendable to 30 June), whereby the current rules continue to apply, following which it is hoped that the UK will be granted an 'adequacy decision' to recognise its data protection regime as being similar to that of the EU's.
More information on the data protection implications of Brexit can be found in our article, 'Brexit and Data Protection - What Do UK Organisations Need to Do Now?'.
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We're here to provide you with the legal support you need to understand the changes that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will mean for you or your business, and to update you as areas of current uncertainty within the framework are clarified and agreed in the coming months.
The implications of the UK's new relationship with the EU on the legal landscape are incredibly wide and the trade agreement covers a range of issues for both businesses and individuals. Our Brexit legal blogs cover all aspects of its impact on businesses and individuals, ranging from data protection updates to the impact of new immigration law reforms across multiple sectors.
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