The New Relationship between the EU and the UK: what has changed? Hosted by Eversheds Sutherland

The New UK-EU Relationship: What has changed?

With Ros Kellaway, a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland


Ros Kellaway is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland and is the Global Co-Chair of Competition, EU and Trade at the company.

Overview of the Trade Deal

It was an ambitious, last minute, trade deal:

  • Fisheries: the UK compromised to achieve return of 25% of EU boats’ fishing rights in UK waters
  • Governance: EU win on single framework: UK win on no role for CJEU
  • Level Playing Field: EU wanted no tariff-free access without EU regulatory alignment (a UK win with tariff-free/quota-free trade) but EU law at 11pm GMT on the 31st of December, 2020, was retained as UK law (with some repealed/amended)

Overview of TCA: 100% tariff liberalisation, cooperation on road transport and aviation, “support” for trade in services (with Joint Declaration on FS), UK public procurement markets open to EU bidders established in UK on equal footings, UK’s continued participation in certain EU programmes, no data adequacy decision (but transition period)

Regulatory Level Playing Field

No required harmonisation of standards but there has been a commitment to maintain effective competition laws and good governance regarding tax (including international standards).

A non-regression commitment for environment, climate, labour and social rules

UK is not required to maintain regulatory alignment with EU rules post 31st December 2020

Subsidies: UK to set up a new system of subsidy control and an independent body to oversee it. The EU already has a State aid system in place.

Impact on Business

No import tariffs or other customs duties

New costs:

  • Cost of getting your goods over the border
  • Delivery charges
  • Customs agents’ charges
  • Import VAT
  • Consumer importer or business importer
  • There will also be new barriers to the sale of goods (e.g. different standards being imposed)

Existing contracts may not always protect your business and so should be reviewed

Freedom to provide services and mutual recognition of qualifications has ended

Immigration: Withdrawal Agreement protected EEA citizens with prior rights of residence, and EEA citizens can travel to UK without a visa and stay for up to 6 months in the right circumstances

UK competition law prohibitions continue to mirror those in the EU

Closing Remarks

Only being a member of the single market can bring all of the benefits of the single market.

There is potential for a divergence between UK and EU regulation subject to limited level playing field rules

Ensure your contracts still meet your business needs

No tariffs on goods does not mean frictionless trade

Look out for data adequacy decision from EU

Check if visas are needed for business travel from EEA to UK

Conduct/agreements may be subject to parallel competition law/merger investigations in UK and EU

Our thanks go to Ros Kellaway, from Eversheds Sutherland, for hosting this event with the BSCC.

Date: 23 February 2021
Time: 10.00 – 10.45 CET
Venue: Virtual Event, Zoom

Hosted by:


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