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The UK left the Customs Union and Single Market arrangement with the EU on 31 December 2020.
Following the June 2016 UK referendum vote to leave the EU and subsequent Government invocation of Article 50 in March 2017, the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered a Transitional Arrangement with the EU. During this period, the UK remained a member of the Customs Union and Single Market. This meant trade procedures with the remaining EU members (EU 27) did not change. The UK Government and European Commission reached an agreement — called the Trade Cooperation Agreement (TCA) — on 24 December 2020 which came provisionally in place on 1 January 2021. The changes to trade procedures between the UK and the EU 27 are still substantial and came into immediate effect at 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020.
The TCA was signed by the UK Prime Minister and the EU Council and European Commission on 30 December 2020. Legislation was passed in Westminster and the EU (Future Relationship) Act 2020 received Royal Assent early on 31 December 2020 to give legal effect to the Deal. In the EU the TCA was ratified by the European Parliament, after a delay, on 28 April 2021. After ratification by the EU council of ministers the TCA came fully into force on 1 May 2021.The TCA in full will be reviewed in 2026.
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