The U.K. will stop being a member of the EU at 11 p.m. London time Friday. A transition period will start from that moment onwards and it is set to last until the end of the year.
During this period, the U.K. will remain subject to EU law, but it will be able to strike trade deals with other parts of the world. The transition will also allow both sides of the English Channel to discuss their future trade and security arrangements.
European President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that fair competition must be at the heart of any future arrangements.
“We are considering a zero-tariff, zero-quotas free trade agreement. But the precondition is that EU and British businesses continue to compete on a level playing field. We will certainly not expose our companies to unfair competition,” von der Leyen said at a plenary session in the European Parliament.