Brexit: New EU trade arrangements to begin after Parliament vote


31st December, 2020 10:03:29 printer

Brexit: New EU trade arrangements to begin after Parliament vote

The post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU takes effect at 23:00 GMT on Thursday, after it was signed into law.

Parliament overwhelmingly backed the agreement in a high-speed process on Wednesday, following the two sides reaching agreement on Christmas Eve.

It takes the UK out of the EU's single market and customs union, but ends the possibility of tariffs on goods.

PM Boris Johnson thanked MPs and said: "The destiny of this great country now resides firmly in our hands."

Opponents say the country will still be worse off than it was while in the EU.

Brexit happened on 31 January, but the UK has continued to follow Brussels' trade rules until now.

The deal - reached just before the deadline to do so - sets out a new business and security relationship, following the severing of these ties.

It comes four-and-a-half years after the UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

The basics

A Brexit deal has been agreed, days before a deadline. It means that the UK and the EU can continue to trade without extra taxes being put on goods.

What took so long? The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and actually left on 31 January 2020, but leaders had until the end of 2020 to work out a trade deal.

There are big changes ahead. Although it's a trade deal that has been agreed, there will also be changes to how people travel between the EU and UK, and to the way they live and work.