The Council has today (April 29) adopted a decision on the conclusion of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and the security of information agreement. This is the last step for the EU in the ratification of the agreements.
The UK will now be notified of the finalisation of the internal EU procedures. Following this, the agreements and accompanying texts will be published in the Official Journal of the EU before the end of the month. On 1 May 2021, both agreements will enter into force.
“Today we open a new chapter in our relations with the UK. The conclusion of the trade and cooperation agreement will give legal certainty to the new EU-UK relationship, in the interests of citizens and business on both sides of the channel. We value the UK as a good neighbour, an old ally and an important partner.”
Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs of Portugal.
Negotiators reached an agreement on an EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and a security of information agreement on 24 December 2020.
On 29 December 2020, the Council adopted the decision on the signing of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and a security of information agreement and on their provisional application as of 1 January 2021. The agreements were then signed by the two parties on 30 December 2020. The agreements have been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021.
The agreements provided for a time-limited provisional application until the end of February, unless a later date was agreed by the parties. On 23 February, the EU-UK Partnership Council decided, at the EU’s request, to extend the provisional application until 30 April 2021 to allow sufficient time to complete the legal-linguistic revision of the agreement in all 24 languages. The authentication of all 24 language versions of the agreement was finalised on 21 April.
On 26 February 2021, the Council requested the European Parliament’s consent to its decision on the conclusion of the agreements, which the European Parliament gave on 27 April (by 600 votes to five).
€5bn to cushion Brexit impact on EU (and in miserly UK?)
EU member states today endorsed the Council’s position on a five-billion-euro fund designed to mitigate the immediate impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The fund, known as the Brexit adjustment reserve, will focus on the most affected regions, areas and sectors in the EU and will be used to pay for a variety of measures such as compensating businesses for lost trade, keeping people in employment and setting up customs checks at ports.
“The reserve aims to support all member states to counter the negative consequences of the UK’s withdrawal. In a spirit of solidarity, we are committed to help European regions, companies and citizens, and especially the hardest hit communities, to tackle the unprecedented challenges of Brexit.”
Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Council presidency.
Views from elsewhere in Europe (thanks to EMI)