Main points in the Brexit agreement

This may be of academic interest to many readers, but, for those interested, the following is a quick guide (The full agreement is more than 1,200 pages long; here are some of the key points, a bit long, but what do you expect?)

There will be no extra tariffs or limits on the amount that can be traded (quotas) between the UK and the EU from 1 January. However, there will be extra checks at borders, such as safety checks and customs declarations.

For services, including finance – very important to the UK economy – the situation is still slightly unclear. Services will lose their automatic right of access but the UK said the agreement “locks in market access across substantially all sectors”.

Professional qualifications
There will no longer be automatic recognition of professional qualifications such as doctors, nurses and architects.7

UK nationals will need a visa for stays of longer than 90 days in the EU in a 180-day period, and there will be extra border checks for UK travellers.
EU pet passports will no longer be valid.

British travellers will still be able to access emergency healthcare in the European Union. European Health Insurance Cards, (EHIC) cards will remain valid until they expire. According to the UK government, they will then have to be replaced by a UK Global Health Insurance Card.

The UK and the EU will co-operate on “fair and transparent rates for international mobile roaming” but there is nothing stopping British travellers being charged for using their phone in the EU, and vice versa.

The UK becomes an independent coastal state and can decide on access to its waters and fishing grounds. But EU boats will be able to fish in UK waters for some years to come at least. 25% of the value of their current catch will now become available for UK fishing boats, but there will be a transition period of five-and-a-half years where that is phased in.
After the transition period, the UK and EU will regularly negotiate access to each other’s waters.

European Court of Justice
The UK will no longer be bound by judgements made by the European Court of Justice, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

The UK will no longer have automatic access to key databases, but should be able to gain access upon request. The UK will not be a member of Europol – the EU’s law enforcement agency – but it will have a presence at its headquarters. This will be similar to the arrangement the US currently has.

The UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus exchange programme – an EU scheme that helps students study in other countries, and in its place will be a new scheme named after the mathematician Alan Turing. Students at universities in Northern Ireland will continue to participate in Erasmus, as part of an arrangement with the Irish government.

My comment: Doesn’t seem quite as bad as feared.

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