The effect of Brexit on EU competition law
The effect of Brexit on EU competition law

The following Competition practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The effect of Brexit on EU competition law
  • The Withdrawal Agreement
  • The transition period
  • During the transition period—how will EU competition law be impacted?
  • Effect on EU competition—the future

On 23 June 2016, the UK held an advisory referendum on its membership of the EU, with a small majority of those voting (and allowed to vote) being in favour of the UK leaving the EU (this option has become known as Brexit).

On 29 March 2017, Theresa May MP, the then UK Prime Minister, gave formal notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU (ie to Brexit), commencing the withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU, starting the two-year process of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. That withdrawal period was repeatedly extended until 31 January 2020. During that time, the EU and the UK negotiated an agreement governing the terms of its withdrawal (the Withdrawal Agreement). A revised Withdrawal Agreement was subsequently negotiated and published on 17 October 2019.

For information about Brexit generally, see, Brexit—overview and Brexit timeline.

The Withdrawal Agreement

On 14 November 2018, the UK’s Conservative government and the European Commission announced a deal in principle on the legal terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. A copy of the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed at negotiator level was published, along with an outline of the political declaration on the framework for the future EU-UK relationship, which was then finalised on 22 November 2018.

On 17 October 2019, the European Commission and the UK’s Conservative government announced an agreement in principle on the revised

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