General information

On 29 March 2017, the United Kingdom officially notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union. This was a decision that the Government of Spain, a firm proponent of the European project, regretted, but one which the British people took.

Accordingly, a two-year period began for the European Union and the United Kingdom to negotiate an agreement that would regulate the withdrawal of the latter, with the aim of achieving an orderly withdrawal.

The negotiators from both sides reached an agreement on the text of a Withdrawal Agreement, which was ratified by the European Council (article 50) on 25 November 2018. However, this text was rejected on several occasions by the British Parliament. Following a change of government in the UK, the negotiators of the parties revised the texts, particularly with respect to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The new text agreed on by the negotiators was accepted by the European Council (Article 50) on 17 October 2019, approved by the British Parliament on 23 January 2020.

As from the start of the Transition Period in February 2020, the European Union authorities, headed up by Michel Barnier, negotiated a new agreement with the United Kingdom negotiators that would govern future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

During this time, the Government of Spain immediately set to work, both at an EU level, and internally, on all the possible scenarios, with the aim of reducing the impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom to the minimum, always advocating the unity of the 27 Member States in a negotiation process that had to particularly safeguard the interests of EU citizens.

Following months of arduous negotiations, and despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, on 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached a Trade and Cooperation Agreement to govern relations between the two parties as from 1 January 2021.

This is a three-part agreement: a Free Trade Agreement and two Agreements on Security of Information and on Nuclear Cooperation. For its part, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement contains a section on free trade, another establishes a framework for economic, social, environmental and fishing cooperation, and a third regulates an association on internal security, while the fourth section establishes a framework for common governance.

This web site seeks to provide the necessary information to address the new situation, with the aim of citizens and economic operators becoming more familiar with Brexit, seeing how the negotiation process unfolded and finding out about the changes that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has for their interests.

Non official translation