Heading Two – Aviation
Title I – Air transport
The Agreement builds on existing precedent and sets out the arrangements for the operation of air transport services between the UK and the EU. UK airlines that are majority owned and controlled by UK and/ or EU/EEA/EFTA nationals at the end of December 2020 may continue to operate air transport services between the UK and the EU. EU airlines that are majority owned and controlled by EU/EEA/EFTA nationals may also continue to operate air transport services between the UK and the EU.
The Agreement provides operational flexibilities for UK and EU airlines. For example, UK airlines may lease aircraft and crew from UK or EU airlines and other providers to operate air transport services between the UK and the EU. UK airlines will also have extensive opportunities to cooperate with other airlines to offer a wide range of tickets to consumers.
The Agreement reflects the shared ambition of both the UK and the EU to cooperate in future, including commitments for continued cooperation and consultation on air traffic management, aviation security and consumer protection.
The Agreement also sets out the conditions under which the operation of air transport services between the UK and EU would not be permitted. Grounds for such action include reasons of aviation safety and seccurity.
Title II – Aviation safety
The Agreement is largely in line with precedent and sets out a framework for cooperation on aviation safety, and a process for agreeing Annexes to the agreement that will facilitate recognition of UK and EU certificates, approvals and licences. Areas where the UK and EU could agree Annexes in future include: monitoring of maintenance organisations; personnel licences and training; operation of aircraft; and air traffic management.
The airworthiness Annex to the Agreement sets out the conditions for the UK and EU to recognise each other’s aeronautical products and designs. For example, minor changes and repairs to aeronautical products and designs that are approved in the UK will be automatically accepted by the EU. In addition, the Annex foresees the possibility of the EU extending their scope of automatic recognition of UK aeronautical products and designs once it gains confidence in the UK’s capability for overseeing design certification.
The Annex also provides for the recognition of production certificates and regulatory oversight. For example, UK production certificates and oversight will be automatically recognised by the EU providing that the relevant aeronautical products were subject to UK oversight before the end of December 2020.
Heading Three – Road Transport
Title I – Transport of goods by road
The Agreement ensures continued market access rights for UK and EU road haulage operators. Operators will continue to be able to move goods to, from and through each other’s territories with no permit requirements, and make additional movements within each other’s territories, with limits on the number of permitted movements.
The Agreement also sets out the standards to which operators must adhere when undertaking international journeys between the UK and the EU. These standards only apply to international journeys and do not affect the UK’s ability to regulate the domestic market. These standards for the international carriage of goods broadly reflect the standards to which UK operators are already subject when operating internationally, with some bespoke standards aimed at ensuring greater road safety and effective regulation. These standards include restrictions on driver hours, requirements about professional qualifications and tachographs and vehicle weight and dimension limits. There is a tailored mechanism to manage differences in national regulations in these areas in the unlikely event that they emerge. The ultimate safeguard in the case of real difficulties is that either side may terminate this Heading.
The Agreement also provides for a Specialised Committee process through which the Parties can agree, for example, to adopt additional measures to safeguard the proper functioning of the Agreement, including by amending the Annexes in the Agreeement.
The Agreement includes a declaration reiterating the importance of the good and efficient management of visa and border arrangements for road hauliers, in particular across the United Kingdom-Union border. This declaration confirms the UK and EU’s agreement to appropriately facilitate the entry and stay of hauliers.
Title II – Passenger transport
The Agreement provides additional market access rights for UK and EU passenger transport operators, above and beyond what is provided by the multilateral Interbus Agreement. Operators will be able to continue running occasional services to, from and through each other’s territories. The Agreement also provides a temporary bridging arrangement for regular and special regular services to continue, until the Interbus Agreement is expanded to cover these services.
Services on the island of Ireland will also be able to pick up and set down passengers in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, enabling cross-border services to continue with no restrictions.
The Agreement also provides for a Specialised Committee process through which the Parties can agree to adopt measures to implement the Chapter and to amend the Annexes in the Agreement to reflect regulatory developments.
eading Four – Social Security Coordination and Visas for Short-term Visits
Title I – Social Security Coordination
The provisions in the Protocol on Social Security Coordination will ensure that individuals who move between the UK and the EU in the future will have their social security position in respect of certain important benefits protected. Individuals will be able to have access to a range of social security benefits, including reciprocal healthcare cover and an uprated state pension.
This Protocol supports business and trade by ensuring that cross- border workers and their employers are only liable to pay social security contributions in one state at a time. Generally, this will be in the country where work is undertaken, irrespective of whether the worker resides within the EU or the UK, or indeed whether the employer is based in the EU or the UK.
UK workers who are sent by their employer to work temporarily in an EU Member State which has agreed to apply the “detached worker” rules will remain liable to only pay social security contributions in the UK for the period of work in that EU Member State. Similarly, if an EU worker is sent by their employer to work temporarily in the UK from a Member State which has agreed to apply the “detached worker” rules, they will remain liable to only pay contributions in that EU Member State.
Under the Protocol, the UK and EU Member States will be able to take into account relevant contributions paid into each other’s social security systems, or relevant periods of work or residence, by individuals for determining entitlement to a state pension and to a range of benefits. This will provide a good level of protection for people working in the UK and EU Member States. The Protocol also provides for the uprating of the UK State Pension paid to pensioners who retire to the EU.
On healthcare, where the UK or an EU Member State is responsible for the healthcare of an individual, they will be entitled to reciprocal healthcare cover. This includes certain categories of cross-border workers and state pensioners who retire to the UK or to the EU.
In addition, the Protocol will ensure necessary healthcare provisions – akin to those provided by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme – continue. This means individuals who are temporarily staying in another country, for example a UK national who is in an EU Member State for a holiday, will have their necessary healthcare needs met for the period of their stay.
The Protocol also protects the ability of individuals to seek authorisation to receive planned medical treatment in the UK or the EU, funded by their responsible State.
Title II – Visas for short-term visits
The Agreement confirms that the UK will treat the EU as a bloc for short-term visit visas. This provision will not apply to future Member States unless the UK agrees to do so.
This provision allows the UK to determine whether short-term visits from the EU should be subject to visa requirements. At present the United Kingdom provides for visa-free travel for short-term visits in respect of nationals of all Member States.
Heading Five – Fisheries
The Agreement provides a framework for our future relationship on matters relating to fisheries.
The Agreement reflects the UK’s departure from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and new identity as a sovereign independent coastal State with the right to manage the resources in its waters. The UK is now free to create its own laws and fisheries management practices to the benefit of fishers and coastal communities across the whole UK.
The Agreement sets out the objectives and principles for fisheries management which the UK and EU share. It enshrines our joint commitment to sustainable fisheries management alongside shared principles of promoting long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability; protecting juveniles and spawning fish; protecting marine ecosystems; and timely cooperation, including sharing data to manage conservation and combat illegal fishing.
The Agreement provides for a significant uplift in quota for UK fishers, equal to 25% of the value the EU catch in UK waters. This is worth £146m for the UK fleet phased in over five years. It ends the dependence of the UK fleet on the unfair ‘relative stability’ mechanism enshrined in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, and increases the share of the total catch taken in UK waters taken by UK vessels to circa two thirds.
New quota arrangements will be phased in over five years to allow the respective fleets time to adapt to the changed opportunities. There will be also be an adjustment period for access to waters which provide stable access for 5 ½ years. For the adjustment period, the Agreement also provides access to a limited part of the UK territorial waters for vessels which have traditionally fished in those areas.
Under the framework provided for in this Agreement, the UK will conduct annual fisheries negotiations with the EU alongside negotiations with other coastal States and international organisations regarding Total Allowable Catches for shared stock. These negotiations will also cover access arrangements.
The agreement includes arrangements for compensation if a Party decides not to grant access to its waters and dispute settlement, in the event that a Party breaches the obligations. All such measures must be commensurate to the economic and social impact caused by the actions of the other party and are subject to arbtration
The Agreement includes an obligation on each Party to share relevant data and information necessary for implementing the Agreement, as well as ensuring compliance with fisheries management measures to deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The Agreement establishes a Specialised Committee on Fisheries which will provide a forum for the UK and the EU to discuss and cooperate on a range of fisheries matters. These include, but are not limited to: cooperation ahead of annual fisheries consultations, multi-year strategies, data-sharing and monitoring and compliance.
The Agreement can be terminated at any point with nine months notice. If the Agreement is terminated, any obligations of the Parties will continue until the end of the year
The Agreement also contains provisions on the Crown Dependencies, which providing those jurisdictions so decide, would allow EU vessels to fish in Crown Dependency waters to levels consistent with historic patterns of fishing while ensuring they can benefit from the goods provisions in the Agreement.
Heading Six – Other Provisions
This Chapter provides for a number of technical matters relating to the trade part of the agreement. This includes definitions, relationship to the WTO agreement, how WTO case law is to be considered in arbitration proceedings, and how amendments to any international agreements referred to are to be treated.