Publicat pe 22/07/2020

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) left the European Union (EU) on February 1, 2020  when the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force. As a third country, the United Kingdom no longer participates in the Union’s decision-making and it is not represented in the EU institutions, agencies, offices or other Union bodies.

However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, Union law continues to apply to and in the United Kingdom for a transition period lasting until 31 December 2020. During this time, the United Kingdom continues to participate in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union to benefit from Union policies and programmes, and has to continue to abide by the obligations of the international agreements to which the Union is a party.

This transition period offers time for continuity and for ensuring all the necessary measures for the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, for the negotiation of an agreement on a new partnership with the United Kingdom, as well as to ensure readiness for the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021, when the United Kingdom will no longer participate in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union, nor benefit from the Union’s international agreements.

The negotiations on a new partnership with the United Kingdom have also been hampered by the changes generated by the coronavirus pandemic, which is why so far little progress has been recorded.

Although the European Commission will continue to negotiate based on the mandate received from the European Council in February 2020, aiming to conclude, by the end of 2020, an ambitious partnership covering all areas agreed with the United Kingdom in the Political Declaration, the fact that the British government doesn’t want to extend the transition period means that the majority of advantages that the European and British citizens and entrepreneurs have benefited will be eliminated or reduced from January 1, 2020.

In this delicate context, Mr. Mihai Daraban, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania , drew attention to the obstacles that will be induced, stating the following: The end of the post-Brexit transition will create many barriers to trade in goods and services, between EU-27 and the UK, as well as in terms of mobility and cross-border exchanges, which is why I kindly advise Romanian entrepreneurs to adopt preventive measures together with British business partners and to take into account the European Commission’s recommendations, to minimize as much as possible the costs and negative effects.

These changes are unavoidable – whatever the outcome of the ongoing negotiations – due to the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, its Single Market and Customs Union. The immediate effect will be that the free movement of persons, goods and services will cease to apply at the end of the transition period.

For these reasons, the European Commission launched on July 9, 2020 the document”Getting ready for changes. Communication on readiness at the end of the transition period between the European Union and the United Kingdom”, which aims to help informatively public administrations, citizens and entrepreneurs to make sure they are ready for those changes. Otherwise, the negative impact and the operational costs will increase significantly at the end of the transition period.

The entire document of the European Commission can be consulted here.