On 1 January we say 'Hello, Goodbye' to the United Kingdom. With the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom will be effectively leaving the European single market and the customs union. At the same time, we will enter into our new comprehensive partnership.

On the final stretch of our EU Council Presidency, we pulled out all the stops over the holidays to ensure that the partnership agreement with the United Kingdom can be provisionally applied from 1 January 2021. I am pleased that all 27 EU member states have given their approval today. By joining forces, we have succeeded in preventing a chaotic turn of the year. At the same time, we are buying the European Parliament more time for a close scrutiny of the agreement in the new year.

The press release of the Council of the EU on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement can be found here.