Trade and Cooperation Agreement Questions and Answers
The recent trade and cooperation agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union has raised many questions among businesses and individuals who trade between both sides. This agreement replaces the previous free movement of goods, services, people, and capital in the European single market and customs union. Here are some of the most frequent questions and answers about the trade and cooperation agreement.
1. What is the trade and cooperation agreement?
The trade and cooperation agreement is a treaty signed by the United Kingdom and the European Union on December 24, 2020. It establishes the new rules for trade and cooperation between both sides after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020.
2. How does the trade and cooperation agreement affect trade between the UK and the EU?
The trade and cooperation agreement removes tariffs and quotas on goods traded between the UK and the EU, provided that they meet the rules of origin criteria. This means that UK products must contain a certain percentage of UK or EU components to qualify for duty-free trade. The agreement also includes provisions on trade in services, including professional qualifications, financial services, and telecommunications. However, some sectors such as fisheries and energy will require separate agreements.
3. What about the Northern Ireland Protocol?
The Northern Ireland Protocol is part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and remains in force. It allows Northern Ireland to remain in the EU single market for goods and follow some EU rules to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. The trade and cooperation agreement does not replace the Protocol but adds some clarifications and simplifications to its implementation.
4. Can UK citizens work and travel in the EU, and vice versa?
The trade and cooperation agreement does not cover the free movement of people. UK citizens are no longer EU citizens and now need a visa or work permit to work or study in the EU beyond 90 days. EU citizens can travel to the UK without a visa for up to six months but need a visa or permit to work or study. However, the agreement provides for the recognition of professional qualifications in some sectors.
5. What are the implications for businesses and traders?
Businesses and traders need to adapt to the new trade rules and procedures, including customs declarations and rules of origin certification. They also need to comply with new regulations in areas such as product standards, health and safety, and data protection. The UK government has provided guidance and support for businesses, and the EU has also issued notices and guidance.
In conclusion, the trade and cooperation agreement between the UK and the EU marks a new era in their relationship and requires adjustments and adaptations from businesses and individuals. However, it also provides a framework for continued trade and cooperation and sets the basis for further agreements and partnerships in the future.