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Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 21 Sep 2020

What does a ‘transition period’ for the UK mean?

The transition period was originally intended to run from the end of the Article 50 process – originally 29 March 2019 – to the end of December 2020. Because the UK’s exit was delayed until 31 January 2020, after three extensions to the negotiating period, the UK stayed a full EU member for longer. During the transition period, the UK left the EU’s political institutions but was still in the single market, the customs union and under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. As no extension to the transition period was agreed by the end-June 2020 deadline, the transition period will end, whether or not the UK and the EU have an agreement on the future relationship, at 11.00pm GMT on 31 December 2020.

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

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