The new relationship between the EU and the UK (Brexit)
The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 1 January 2021. This page provides general information on the new relationship between the EU and the UK and on the effects of Brexit on citizens and businesses. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs coordinates the EU–UK relationship from Finland’s viewpoint in collaboration with other central government bodies. You can find more accurate information on certain themes on the websites of Finnish Government ministries and agencies.
The new relationship between the EU and the UK
With the completion of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit) on 1 January 2021 many things changed. The changes brought by Brexit affect people in Finland as well as businesses operating in Finland that trade with the UK. The new relationship between the EU and the UK is significantly more distant than before.
European Commission and the United Kingdom concluded their negotiations on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and a complementary agreement on security of classified information on 24 December 2020. The Agreements entered formally into force on 1 May 2021.
- The text of the TCA and its Annexes is available on the European Commission’s website.(Link to another website.)
Before that, the EU and the UK had concluded a Withdrawal Agreement that entered into force on 1 February 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement is applied alongside the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and any agreements that may be made later. The Withdrawal Agreement protects EU and UK citizens’ rights and includes agreement on the honouring of financial obligations undertaken by the UK while it was a member of the EU, and on border arrangements between Ireland and Northern Ireland respecting the peace process on the island of Ireland.
- The Withdrawal Agreement together with its Annexes is available on the website of the European Commission.(Link to another website.)
Both agreements include provisions on advisory groups convening in different EU–UK configurations, which will discuss matters related to the agreements and supervise the attainment of the objectives of the agreements. In the advisory groups, the European Commission represents EU Member States. The EU prepares and agrees about the outlines of the cooperation in the bodies of the Council of the European Union.
Coordination of the EU–UK relationship in Finland
In Finland, each Ministry is responsible for the EU–UK relationship and the effects of Brexit in respect of their own administrative branch. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been responsible for the overall coordination since 1 August 2021.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for questions related to EU trade policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and development policy, as well as matters concerning consular services. The Ministry has also general responsibility for the bilateral relations between Finland and the United Kingdom.
Contacts in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs:
Hanna Heikkilä, Team Leader, Unit for Central, Western and Southern Europe, tel. +358 295 351 194
The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the EU–UK relationship and the effects of Brexit:
- Embassy of Finland, London(Link to another website.)
- Website of the European Commission(Link to another website.)
- UK Government website(Link to another website.)
- Europe Information(Link to another website.)