What are the key points of the Brexit Deal?

The UK-EU agreement will take affect from 23:00 on the 31st December 2020. The full agreement is more than 1,200 pages long detailing new rules for living, working and trading together. We have pulled together some of the key points to save you from reading the full agreement!

Trade

What does the deal say?

  • There will be no taxes on goods (tariffs) or limits on the amount that can be traded (quotas) between the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021
  • Some new checks will be introduced at borders, such as safety checks and customs declarations.
  • There are some new restrictions on certain UK animal food products. For example, uncooked meats like sausages and burgers can't enter the EU unless they are frozen to -18C.

By having a deal in place, some goods could have become more expensive, which has been avoided. However businesses will need to prepare for a new procedure at ports including new paperwork.

Services and Qualifications

What does the deal say?

  • Businesses offering services, such as banking, architecture and accounting, will lose their automatic right of access to EU markets and will face some restrictions.
  • There will no longer be automatic recognition of professional qualifications for people such as doctors, chefs and architects.

This means that UK businesses will need to comply with each country’s regulation instead of the one set rule of the whole EU. People who gained qualifications in the UK will find it harder to sell their services in the EU and will need to check if the county that they are intending of visiting recognises their qualification.

The UK and EU have pledged to keep talking to try and improve access for the service sector.

Travel

What does the deal say?

This means the UK government have stated that the European Health Insurance Card will be replaced with a UK Global Health Insurance Card – the full details of the card are yet to be released. Pets will be allowed in the UK but owners still need to obtain an animal health certificate for each trip they make.

UK mobile operators will be able to charge for roaming so individuals should check with their mobile phone providers before travelling.

Fishing

What does the deal say?

  • Over the next five-and-a-half years, the UK will gradually gain a greater share of the fish from its own waters.
  • The UK could choose to ban EU fishing boats from 2026, but the EU would be allowed to introduce taxes on British fish in response.

Fishing, which was the topic of conversation, was the hardest to resolve with negotiations longing. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says the deal doesn’t give the UK enough control of its water.

Starting in 2026, the UK and the EU will hold regular talks on fishing access so we predict a few more heated discussions in years to come.

European Court of Justice and Other Disputes

What does the deal say?

  • There will be no role in the UK for the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which is the highest court in the EU.
  • Disputes that cannot be resolved between the UK and the EU will be referred to an independent tribunal instead.

One of the main demands from Brexit supporters was ending the role of the ECJ as it would allow the country to “take back control” of its law. The ECJ could still have a role in Northern Ireland as it continues to follow some EU trade rules.

If either side moves too far away from the current rules around product standards, tariffs could be imposed on some goods in years to come.

Security and Data

What does the deal say?

  • The UK will no longer have automatic access to key security databases, but should be able to gain access upon request.
  • The UK will not be a member of the EU's law enforcement agency, Europol, but it will have a presence at its headquarters.
  • The UK is no longer obliged to comply with EU standards of data protection, but data will continue to be exchanged in the same way for at least four months as long as the UK doesn't change its data protection rules.

This means the UK’s arrangement with Europol will be similar to the one the US currently has and many rules about storing and processing data still needs to be decided.

Education

What does the deal say?

  • The UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus exchange programme, an EU scheme that helps students study in other countries.
  • Students at universities in Northern Ireland will continue to participate in Erasmus, as part of an arrangement with the Irish government.

This means that students who have already started studying in the EU will continue to receive support for fees. A new scheme will begin in September 2021 similar to the Erasmus programme but will include countries across the world.