The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

When a new country joins the EU, does free movement apply straight away?

When new countries join the EU, existing member states have in general been allowed to apply restrictions on the free movement rights of citizens from new member states for a transitional period.
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What is the consent mechanism?

The consent mechanism is a decision-making procedure in the EU whereby the EU Council must seek the consent of the European Parliament.
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What is Article 49?

Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure for countries to join the EU. Read this fact to find out more.
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Will I be able to live in an EU country after Brexit?

If you already live in an EU country prior to the end of the transition period at the end of 2020, you will have the right to continue to live in that country with broadly the same rights as before, subject to any additional requirements that EU countries insist on.
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Who is the UK negotiating new trade agreements with?

As of September 2020, the UK was negotiating trade agreements with the EU, the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
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Who is Maroš Šefčovič?

Maroš Šefčovič is the EU’s representative on the UK-EU Joint Committee, which was set up to manage the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.
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What is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)?

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a longstanding international treaty that sets out the basic rules for the use of the sea and marine resources.
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What is the Union Customs Code?

The Union Customs Code (UCC) is the rulebook for managing the external borders of the EU’s customs union. Read this fact to find out more.
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What is the Northern Ireland protocol?

The Northern Ireland protocol, formally called the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, is the part of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU that ensures there is no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
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Will transition be extended?

No. As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK and EU had the possibility to extend the transition period for up to two years to the end of 2022. However, such a decision had to be made by the end of June 2020.
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What is the European Court of Auditors?

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is the EU’s financial watchdog, responsible for ensuring the sound financial management of the EU.
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What is European integration?

European integration is the catch-all term for cooperation between European countries, usually but not exclusively referring to EU member states.
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