European Union governments approved on Tuesday a trade deal regulating relations between the 27-nation bloc and Britain, paving the way for its provisional application from January 1, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told the news agency ČTK.
The deal, which preserves Britain’s zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market of 450 million consumers, was reached on December 24, 4-1/2 years after Britons voted by a slim margin in a referendum to leave the bloc.
The approval is a formality after a deal between London and the EU last week. It is needed for the provisional application of the trade agreement from next year before it is ratified by the European Parliament by the end of February.
The provisional trade deal is to be signed by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the chairman of EU leaders Charles Michel on Wednesday.
Up to 100,000 Czech citizens are living in Britain according to unofficial data and more than 30,000 had applied for the settled status.
U.K. nationals and their family members who resided in the Czech Republic before the end of 2020 can remain living in the country under the same rights and benefits provided for in EU legislation if they are able to prove their residence by showing relevant documents.
The update of the Czech immigration legislation is expected to be introduced during 2021 and that should bring changes in terms of Brexit, including exchange of permit types issued to U.K. nationals and their family members.
U.K. nationals and their family members arriving in the Czech Republic after the year-end will be treated as third-country nationals.