Following the political withdrawal of the UK from the EU in February 2020, the two parties reached an eleventh-hour trade and cooperation agreement at the end of the transition period. The agreement covers the economic aspects of Brexit, laying the foundations for bilateral trade over the coming decades. The good news is that the EU and the UK managed to avoid a no-deal outcome, which would have proved disastrous for many sectors and harmed bilateral cooperation. Yet despite generally respecting the negotiating objectives of both parties, it is a minimal agreement limited to liberalising trade in goods (including agriculture and fisheries), with considerable friction and a lack of ambition on services and the movement of people. In short, the agreement represents a major setback for European integration. Moreover, over the coming months, its costs will cease to be theoretical and will begin to manifest in practice. Read More.