What has changed from the original Brexit deal to reconcile both parties?

After four years of back and forth, on December 24, 2020, just before Christmas, the UK and the EU signed an agreement to determine their post-Brexit relationship, what have both parties agreed to?

Fishing rights and competition rules were the key issues facing negotiators until the last minute.

Here we explain how each party was awarded and what will change from the original agreement.

Fishing rights

London and Brussels agreed on a five and a half year transition period for fisheries.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlighted in a press conference: “We will be an independent coastal state with full control of our waters, with the UK’s fish quota in our waters increasing substantially from about half the current to about two-thirds in Five and a half years”.

Johnson pointed out that the UK had initially offered three years but that the Commission wanted the transition period to last 14 years and described the compromise as “reasonable”.

Law enforcement

The agreement establishes a “new framework for law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal and civil law matters,” the Commission said in a statement.

The UK agreed to stay in the European Convention on Human Rights so that the standards on both sides of the Canal remain the same, which it initially did not want to do.

That means the EU can suspend security cooperation if it believes the UK is violating the Convention.

The UK will lose access to the Schengen Information System – the largest information exchange system for security and border management in Europe – but both parties will continue to share the Register of Passenger Names – the information provided by the airlines. – and Prüm – a cross-border DNA and fingerprint database.

The EU also stressed that the agreement on extradition “is unprecedented”.

Dispute resolution mechanism

The UK was adamant that it would no longer be under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union, but the EU wanted to keep it to make sure it could seek sanctions against the UK if it felt that London was undermining consumer rights and rights. European companies.

The UK appears to have gotten away with it on this point, planning the deal for “enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms.”

“This means that EU and UK companies can compete on equal terms and will prevent either party from using their regulatory autonomy to award unfair subsidies or distort competition,” the Commission said in a statement.

“Both parties can retaliate across sectors for violations of the agreement.”

What has been agreed on other issues?

Free movement

From now on, visas will be required for stays longer than 90 days, which means that British people will no longer be able to move freely to the EU to live, work or study and vice versa.


There will be “zero tariffs and zero quotas for all goods that meet the appropriate rules of origin,” so there are not many changes in that regard.

But this does not apply to services. The UK’s summary of the agreement states that “the Agreement builds significantly on the Parties’ commitments under WTO (World Trade Organization) rules and blocks market access in virtually all sectors.”


The UK has withdrawn from the Erasmus student exchange program. Johnson said it had been “a difficult decision” and announced the launch of a new program, named after the famous mathematician and pioneer of computer science Alan Turing.

Foreign policy

“Foreign policy, foreign security and defense cooperation are not covered by the agreement, as the UK did not want to negotiate this matter,” the Commission said in its statement.

“Therefore, as of January 1, 2021, there will be no framework in place between the UK and the EU to develop and coordinate joint responses to foreign policy challenges, for example the imposition of sanctions on nationals or economies. from third countries, “he added.

What else?

The Commission has released an infographic detailing what else will change on December 31.

Mobile roaming charges, easy professional validation, financial services passport, and access to Galileo’s encrypted military signal are some of the things not covered by the deal.