The European Union and the United Kingdom have been in a state of flux since the UK decided to leave the EU in 2016. Since then, both parties have been trying to forge a new relationship that will replace the one they had for the past 47 years. One of the most important areas of discussion has been trade agreements. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the EU trade agreements with the UK.
Firstly, it is important to understand that the UK is no longer a member of the EU and is therefore outside of the EU single market. This means that UK companies can no longer enjoy the same benefits they once had, such as tariff-free trade with EU member states. However, both parties have been working hard to negotiate a new trade agreement that will be mutually beneficial.
The UK and the EU have been locked in negotiations for months, trying to come to an agreement that will allow for trade between the two to continue. At present, the UK continues to trade with the EU under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, which was signed in January 2020. This agreement provided a transition period that ended on 31st December 2020. Since then, the UK and the EU have been operating under new rules, with tariffs and quotas in place.
The new trade agreement between the EU and the UK was signed on 24th December 2020, and came into effect on 1st January 2021. The agreement covers a wide range of areas, including trade in goods, services, and investment, as well as law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation.
One of the key elements of the trade agreement is the rules of origin. These rules determine where goods must come from to be considered as originating in the EU or UK, and therefore allowed to benefit from zero tariffs. The agreement sets out specific rules of origin for different types of goods, and it is important that businesses comply with these rules to avoid tariffs.
The trade agreement also includes provisions on regulatory cooperation, which will help reduce red tape for businesses. This means that UK and EU authorities will work together to ensure that regulations and standards are aligned, making it easier for businesses to trade across borders.
In conclusion, the EU trade agreement with the UK is a complex document that covers a wide range of areas. It is designed to facilitate trade between the two parties while ensuring that each can safeguard their interests. While there may be some challenges to overcome in the implementation of the agreement, it is hoped that it will provide a stable basis for UK-EU trade in the years to come.