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Friday, May 14, 2021

What's in the EU-UK Brexit trade deal?

What's in the EU-UK Brexit trade deal?

The Brexit trade agreement is meant to ensure the United Kingdom's smooth departure from one of the world's biggest trading blocs. DW explores its key provisions.
Zero tariffs

The Brexit agreement has secured zero tariffs or quotas on goods traded once the United Kingdom exits the EU single market and customs union. This ensures a seamless trade transition in January 2021, with lower prices of basic goods for consumers. Negotiators have also reached specific facilitation arrangements for key industries such as wine, organics, automotive pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

Visa-free travel, social security benefits

Freedom of movement, including the right to work, study, start a business or live in the EU and UK will end. But the agreement provides visa-free travel for short-term visits up to 90 days. It also ensures that current UK and EU residents of each other's territories are able to retain their rights to work, as well as benefits such as pensions, parental leave and health care, among others.

EU-UK fisheries agreement

The UK will become an independent coastal state and face customs and food safety checks on its EU exports. But the agreement ensures sustainable management of shared fish stocks and quotas in EU and UK waters, in a transition period of 5 1/2 years. During this time, reciprocal access to fish remains unchanged. Afterwards, the two sides will have to reevaluate the situation for a new agreement.

Aviation safety and security cooperation

As UK passenger planes will lose access to a free EU aviation market, the agreement ensures cooperation between both sides on aviation safety, security and air traffic management. It provides aviation cargo with unlimited point-to-point traffic between UK and EU airports, but also to other countries — known as fifth freedom traffic rights.

Some trade in services salvaged

Automatic recognition of professional qualifications for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, engineers and other professionals is set to end between the EU and UK. But the trade agreement ensures fair treatment for service suppliers or investors. It also removes unjustified barriers to digital trade and allows for open procurement markets for UK or EU bidders.

Energy cooperation

The UK will leave the EU's internal energy market, the European Atomic Energy Community and will be out of bloc's Emissions Trading System. But the two sides have agreed to guarantees on energy supply security and offshore energy cooperation in the North Sea. The Brexit agreement also features enforceable commitments toward the Paris climate deal and seeks to link EU and UK carbon pricing regimes.

UK remains in science research programs

In education, research and technology, the UK will abandon programs such as the Erasmus university program and the Galileo satellite system. But through the Brexit agreement, the UK will remain a part of five key programs: Horizon Europe, the EURATOM Research and Training Program, ITER (fusion test facility), Copernicus Earth monitoring system and EU Satellite Surveillance and Tracking system.

Truck transport rights

UK truck operators will lose the right to conduct unlimited cross-trade in the EU, but the Brexit agreement ensures unlimited point-to-point access between the EU and the UK. It ensures full transit rights across each other's territories and grants the right to perform up to two extra operations within them. Working conditions, road safety and fair competition provisions are also included.

Continued cooperation with Europol, Eurojust

The UK will leave agencies such as Europol and Eurojust, and will lose access to the EU's sensitive databases in areas of security and justice. But the Brexit agreement ensures continued cooperation between the UK and these agencies. It also includes mechanisms for quick data exchange of passenger, DNA, fingerprint, vehicle and criminal record information between the UK and the EU.

From zero tariffs to visa-free travel, the Brexit trade agreement ironed out some of the thorniest issues in the divorce between the European Union and the United Kingdom.


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