What changes the agreement between the EU and the UK?


Prime Minister Johnson and the European Union Commission Chairman von der Leyen (from left) were able to agree on an agreement on Brexit on Christmas Eve.
Bild: AP

The European Union and the United Kingdom have agreed an agreement for Brexit. What will change from January? FAZ.NET answers the most important questions about trade, visas and fishing.

What is Free Trade Agreement?

It is not just about merchandise or services. The 1,246-page long agreement governs investment, competition, state aid, tax transparency, transportation, conservation of energy and climate protection, as well as cooperation with fishing rights, data protection and social insurance. A separate chapter is devoted to judicial cooperation.

What does the agreement mean for trade in goods?

Last year, the European Union exported 13 percent of its goods to Britain. The European Union accounted for 43 percent of British exports. The trade volume in goods was 500 billion euros last year. The European Union attained a trade surplus of approximately 110 billion euros. If the two sides do not reach an agreement, they will have to impose customs duties on the import of the goods from the beginning of January under WTO rules. For cars, for example, a 10 percent tariff would have been imposed, with 40 percent or more spent on sensitive agricultural products such as cheese as well. He is off the table right now. There is no customs duty, and import of some products is not limited by quota. Furthermore – and this does not happen with a difficult Brexit – the agreement enables the smooth transport of goods by road and air.

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