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EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement

06 Jan 2021 | Technical News

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was jointly agreed by UK negotiators and the European Union (EU) on 24 December 2020.   

Whilst the new relationship between the UK and EU is distinct from the one that existed whilst the UK was an EU Member State, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement is preferable to a ‘no-deal’ scenario and goes beyond a traditional free trade agreement. 

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement consists of three main elements:

  • Free trade agreement 
  • Close partnership on citizens’ security
  • Overarching governance framework

The Agreement does not cover decisions regarding foreign policy, external security and defence cooperation, nor does it cover decisions relating to equivalences for financial services, the adequacy of the UK data protection regime, or the assessment of the UK’s sanitary and phytosanitary regime for the purpose of listing it as a third country allowed to export food products to the EU. 

Whilst the Agreement ensures there will not be any tariffs levied or quotas imposed on imports or exports, departure from the EU will still result in new customs and regulatory checks which UK businesses need to navigate.  There will also be an end to freedom of movement for EU nationals coming to the UK for work. 

From a plant health perspective the Agreement does not change arrangements made during 2020, nor does it alter the processes that professionals in the landscape and horticulture industry are required to take with regards importation of plants and plant products into the UK, or movement of these within the UK. 

The plant health section of the BALI website contains guidance for landscape professionals wishing to understand more about the processes required to import plants into the UK, as well as the documentation required to move plants within the UK.  Similarly, the Brexit section of the BALI website contains guidance for landscape and horticulture businesses wishing to learn more about what changes Brexit will bring to their business operations.  

Further reading:

DEFRA Plant Health Portal

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