Brexit Bulletin, 3 February 2020

Feb 03, 2020

It is Week 1 of the UK-EU transition period. The UK has officially ceased to be an EU member state and is ready to begin their negotiations with the EU in areas such as trade, tax, state aid, labour and environmental rights. Read this week’s bulletin for a timeline of developments so far.


Brexit day: UK officially leaves EU on 31 January 2020  – what’s next?

The European Parliament gave its final approval of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement on Wednesday by 621 votes in favour, 49 against and 13 abstentions. On Thursday, the European Council took the final vote enabling the Withdrawal Agreement to enter into force - the last step in finalising the UK’s exit from the bloc.

 “The Withdrawal Agreement will enter into force upon the UK’s exit from the EU, on 31 January 2020 at 11pm….From that time on, the UK will no longer be an EU member state and will be considered as a third country….The Council has adopted, by written procedure, the decision on the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement on behalf of the EU,” said the European Council in conclusion.


What’s next?

The UK will now be entering into a transition period with the EU until 31 December 2020, during which they will be negotiating a free-trade agreement aiming for frictionless trade going forward. While they cease to be an EU member state during the transition period, the following stay the same:


1. Travel

UK nationals will still be treated the same as EU nationals during the transition. Flights, boats and trains will operate as usual. The Common Travel Agreement between Ireland and UK is retained as well.

When it comes to passport control, during the transition period, UK nationals will still be allowed to queue in the areas reserved for EU arrivals only.


2. Pensions

UK nationals living in the EU will continue to receive their state pension and will also receive the annual increase.


3. EU Budget contributions

The UK will continue to pay into the EU budget during the transition.



4. Trade

UK-EU trade will continue without any extra charges or checks being introduced.


Read all our updates in our Brexit web centre.