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Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 23 Jun 2021

What was the transition period?

The transition period was the 11-month grace period agreed by the UK and the EU following the UK’s exit from the bloc on 31 January 2020.

On that date, the UK left the EU political institutions, however, despite no longer being a member state, the UK remained part of the EU single market and customs union, and EU law — and by extension the authority of the European Court of Justice — continued to apply.

The transition period allowed time for the UK and the EU to negotiate  their future relationship, with a Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed on 24 December 2020.  

Find out more – read our explainer on the transition period.

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