Foreign minister: Brexit brings important travel and trade changes ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Flags of the U.K and Estonia.
Flags of the U.K and Estonia. Source: Ministry of Defense.

There will be changes to travel, trade and the ordering of parcels at the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, 2021 which do not depend on the ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK over future relations, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has said.

"There will definitely be changes in travel, trade and ordering of parcels. As the United Kingdom is leaving both the EU internal market as well as the customs union, a customs regime will step into effect. In relation to the free movement of people coming to an end, people traveling to the United Kingdom for the purpose of work or study will need a work or residence permit. These changes will take place regardless of whether or not the European Union and the United Kingdom have managed to reach a trade deal by January 1," Reinsalu said.

"Negotiators from both sides are at present making an effort to conclude negotiations over future relations. What's most important for Estonia in terms of the new partnership agreement is that trade should remain as liberal as possible and that fair competition should be guaranteed for our enterprises," the minister said.

"The results of the negotiations will determine if trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union will be conducted pursuant to rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or an agreement providing more favorable conditions will be reached. Discord remains severest on the topic of fisheries. On the other hand, agreements have been reached on a number of other issues, such as police and judicial cooperation, services and investments, coordination of social security, public procurement, air and road transport, energy and nuclear safety," he added.

"Bilateral relations between Estonia and the United Kingdom will definitely not change from January 1. Our communication will remain as close as it has been thus far," Reinsalu said, adding that Estonia and the United Kingdom will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in January 2021.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 1, 2020, with a transition period ending on January 1, 2021.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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