Information about Brexit
We have grouped together information about Brexit and the future EU–UK relationship on this website. The website provides information on topics such as the withdrawal agreement, the transition period, negotiations on the future relationship and how the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will affect UK and Finnish citizens and businesses.
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU entered into force on 1 February 2020. With the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement, a transition period began that will last until the end of 2020. During this time, the EU’s current rules will remain in force and the future relationship will be negotiated. During the transitional period, the UK will have all the rights and obligations of a Member State. The only significant exception is that the UK will no longer participate in EU decision-making or in the activities of EU bodies.
The purpose of the withdrawal agreement is to ensure the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU. Among other things, the withdrawal agreement safeguards the residence, employment and social security rights of EU citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in the EU under EU law for life if they have settled in the UK or the EU before the end of the transition period. Their status and rights will be safeguarded as they were under the key EU legislation as of 31 December 2020. With regard to persons moving to each other’s territory after 31 December 2020, free movement will end and restrictions will be placed on the entry and rights of EU and UK citizens.
The withdrawal agreement will dismantle all cooperation based on the UK’s EU membership in an orderly manner. The goal is to negotiate a new relationship for each individual sector during the transition period – that is, during 2020. The European Commission, with Michel Barnier as Chief Negotiator, is in charge of the negotiations on behalf of the EU. The Commission will negotiate with the UK based on the negotiating directives issued on 25 February 2020 by the General Affairs Council. On 18 March 2020, the Commission published its first draft proposal for an agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
The future relationship will be clearly more distant than EU membership. The schedule for the negotiations is tight, as according to the Act on the Approval of the UK Withdrawal Agreement, the transition period cannot be extended. Due to the tight negotiation schedule, some sectors may fall outside the scope of the agreement starting on 1 January 2021. Businesses in particular should be prepared for this possibility.