Information about Brexit

Many things changed when the UK’s withdrawal from the EU entered into force on 1 January 2021. The changes brought on by Brexit will have an impact on Finnish people and companies operating in Finland. The relationship between the EU and the UK will be significantly more distant than before. 

On Christmas Eve, 24 December 2020, the EU and the UK concluded their negotiations on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the complementary agreements on security of classified information and nuclear cooperation. The UK Parliament finalised its approval of the agreement on 30 December 2020.  

The EU countries decided on 29 December 2020 that the three agreements reached before Christmas could be applied provisionally from 1 January 2021. The Council adopted its decision (2020/2252) by written procedure. This prevented a “no-deal” scenario between the EU and the UK at end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

The European Parliament voted in favour of approving the agreements in its plenary session on 27 April 2021. After this, the Council (i.e. the EU Member States) adopted a separate decision on the conclusion of the agreements on 29 April 2021. This means that the agreements entered into force definitively on 1 May 2021. The Council decision and the final translations of the agreements into all 24 official EU languages, completed in April, are now available in the Official Journal of the EU.

Agreements and more information | European Commission

Decision-making in Finland

In Finland, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs decided on 28 December 2020 that the agreements negotiated by the European Commission and the United Kingdom, when assessed as a whole, were in line with the EU’s and Finland’s negotiating objectives. The Grand Committee of Parliament formulated Parliament’s position on the same day.

Press release on the meeting of the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs on 28 December
Follow-up Union communication discussed by the Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs on 28 December (in Finnish)
Press release on the meeting of the Grand Committee on 28 December 2020 (in Finnish)

Withdrawal agreement and negotiations on the new relationship

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union entered into force on 1 February 2020. With the entry into force of the withdrawal agreement, a transition period began that lasted until the end of 2020. During this time, the EU’s current rules remained in force and the EU and UK negotiated the terms their future relationship. During the transition period, the UK had all the rights and obligations of a Member State. The only significant exception was that the UK no longer participated in EU decision-making or in the activities of EU bodies.