On 28 December 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia discussed the agreement achieved on 24 December between the European Union and the United Kingdom on their future relationship after the transition period expires on 31 December this year. The Cabinet decided to support the agreement and its application as from 1 January 2021. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, also presented the agreement to the members of the Saeima (Latvian Parliament) European Affairs Committee.
The deal between the EU and the UK envisages their future relationship based on three agreements. The broadest of those, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, provides for unprecedented trade relations in terms of access to goods and services market, alongside trade conditions that go well beyond the EU’s current free trade agreements.
In addition, the agreement also envisages cooperation in transport, energy, fisheries and natural resources, coordination of social security, the Union programmes, judicial cooperation of law enforcement authorities in criminal matters and the protection of fundamental rights and personal data, as well as data sharing and combating money laundering and terrorist financing. This cooperation will be underpinned by crosscutting rules concerning fair competition and the agreement administration mechanism to ensure its accurate interpretation and application.
An agreement on security procedures for the exchange and protection of classified information envisages sharing of classified information and guarantees for the transfer and protection of such information.
An agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy sets out a framework for cooperation between the EU and the UK in that sector, including trade in, and transfer of various technologies and materials, as well as exchange of information and experience, and research and development initiatives.
Nevertheless, the accord achieved is not a substitute for EU membership; therefore, the EU-UK cooperation will not be as it was before, with restrictions provided for a free movement of persons between the EU and the UK and the requirement of customs clearance. At the same time, the said agreements will ensure a solid basis for building close and all-round relations in the future.