Information about Brexit
We have grouped together information about Brexit and the future EU-UK relationship. These pages offer information, for example, on the negotiation process and the withdrawal agreement and on how UK and Finnish citizens and businesses should prepare for a withdrawal without an agreement.
The EU is ready to sign the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the UK Government. However, in its votes on 15 January, 12 March and 29 March, the UK House of Commons voted against the withdrawal agreement.
On 11 April, the EU leaders agreed to an extension of the period for UK’s withdrawal until 31 October 2019. The withdrawal may enter into force on an earlier date if the UK approves the Withdrawal Agreement. A condition for the extension is that the UK holds the elections to the European Parliament if it is still a Member State on 22 May 2019.
The European Council has also decided that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened and the future relationship between the UK and EU will not be negotiated before UK’s withdrawal. However, amendments to the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship are possible, should there be changes in the framework conditions for the UK.
The negotiation process
On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on EU membership. On 29 March 2017, the UK gave its notification of withdrawal from the EU, which triggered the two-year negotiation period.
Representatives of the European Commission and the UK Government concluded the negotiations on the withdrawal agreement in November 2018. The sole purpose of the withdrawal agreement is to ensure the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.
Citizens’ rights under the withdrawal agreement
Finland’s primary objective in the withdrawal negotiations was to secure the rights of citizens. Free movement of persons would continue unaltered until the end of the transition period.
Negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK can only be started after the UK has withdrawn from the EU. In other words, a transition period is needed between the withdrawal and the future relationship.
Future relationship between the EU and the UK
The withdrawal agreement does not contain any provisions on future EU–UK relations. Negotiations on the future relationship can only be started after the UK has left the EU. A political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship was negotiated with the UK.
Withdrawal without an agreement
In a no-deal withdrawal scenario, the EU treaties and EU law will immediately cease to apply in relation to the UK.