What is the Brexit deal?
The Government’s Brexit deal comprises the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 29 March 2019 (the Withdrawal Agreement) and the framework under which the UK and EU will agree a future relationship after the UK’s withdrawal (the Political Declaration).
What is the Withdrawal Agreement?
The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of a transition period over which the EU and the UK could negotiate their future trade partnership. A position that EEF has long argued for and one which is crucial to provide stability while international trade discussions are conducted.
It means that in the immediate aftermath of March 2019 the UK’s trade relationship with the EU would not change. The transition period would conclude in December 2020 with both parties using “their best endeavours” to have a future trade agreement concluded six months before the end of that period. If that were not the case the transition period could be extended for a maximum of two years.
Read the Withdrawal Agreement in full on the Gov.uk website
What is the Political Declaration?
The political declaration gives an overview of what the UK and EU’s future relationship would be in the long term. It is non-binding, it simply sets the ambitions for future talks. Both sides make clear they want a relationship that is “as close as possible” and based on an “ambitious Free Trade area”.
The declaration mentions explicitly an “independent trade policy” for the UK in the future but future negotiations will decide how this will be achieved in a way which is “consistent with the [European] Union’s principles, in particular with respect to the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union and the indivisibility of the four freedoms”. Read the Political Declaration in full on the Gov.uk website
What is the transition period and how long will it last?
The draft Brexit agreement sets out a transition period starting on 29 March 2019 and ending on 31 December 2020. The draft agreement goes on to say that both parties will “use their best endeavours” to have a future trade agreement concluded six months before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, but that if this is not the case the EU and the UK could “jointly extend the transition period” for up to one or two years.
What is EEF’s position?
EEF believes that the Withdrawal Agreement provides the basis for a pragmatic and sensible departure. It gives business confidence and clarity about the trading environment for the immediate future. Crucially, it will ensure that the UK avoids a damaging exit without a deal.
The Political Declaration provides a framework under which EEF can continue to campaign for the needs of UK manufacturing to achieve our four key outcomes:
Ability to fill the skills gap and fulfil service contracts;
Now that we have certainty on its length, a properly planned and delivered transition and implementation period;
Maintain close regulatory and technical alignment.
What is the Brexit deal?