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European Union-United Kingdom

3 May 2021

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Council of the EU Gives Final Approval for Ratification of EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and Security of Information Agreement

The Council of the European Union has issued a release on its adoption of the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement and the EU-UK security of information agreement on 29 April 2021.

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EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement: Council adopts decision on conclusion

The Council has today 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

Background

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.

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