What is a transition period and how long will it last?
This is a bridging agreement between the current situation – where we are members of the EU – and our long-term relationship outside the bloc.
Also known as an “implementation phase”, it allows for the UK to keep some of the same arrangements with Brussels on trade and other matters until a new comprehensive trade agreement is sealed.
In March 2018, Britain secured a transition deal that will also allow ministers to seek trade agreements around the globe.
The UK will also be free to set its own foreign policy as soon as Brexit happens, as well as negotiate and sign new trade deals anywhere in the world – to implement them in 2021.
However EU chiefs made it clear the period, which allows the UK to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union, will only come into force if the Irish border is sorted.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier unveiled terms for the 21 month period interim period.
The UK will not be fully out of the EU until December 31, 2020 – four and a half years after the historic referendum decision.