EU - Country Commercial Guide

The article describes the status of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union. 

Last published date: 2021-10-18

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, after 47 years of EU membership.  In accordance with withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom is now officially a third country to the European Union and no longer participates in European Union decision-making.  An EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement entered into force May 1, 2021.  This agreement sets out preferential arrangements in a broad array of areas, such as trade in goods and in services, digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation, road transport, energy, fisheries, social security coordination, law enforcement, judicial cooperation in criminal matters, thematic cooperation, and participation in EU programs.

Reengagement on Transatlantic Economic Issues

An important milestone in transatlantic reengagement took place in June 2021 with a U.S.-EU Summit in which President Biden met with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to set a joint transatlantic agenda. 

At the Summit, the United States and the European Union launched the Trade and Technology Council (TTC).  Co-chaired by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and Executive Vice President Vestager and Executive Vice President Dombrovskis for the European Union, the TTC presents an historic opportunity to deepen integration between the United States and the European Union, especially in technology enabled sectors, including by supporting transatlantic supply chains and promoting the use of digital technologies by small and medium-sized enterprises.  In connection with the Summit, the United States and the European Union announced the start of discussions to address the problem of excess global steel and aluminum, which threatens workers and these industries in the United States and Europe, and the parties agreed to chart a path that ends the World Trade Organization disputes. Both governments also announced a five-year freeze on tariffs in connection with the long-running Boeing-Airbus dispute.