On this basis, EU trade agreements can continue to apply to the UK. Brexit is once again relegated to the forefront of the media and various developments are looming, increasing tensions and the intensity of trade negotiations within the EU. Last year, we analysed how the UK government has made progress in securing other free trade agreements around the world and we have looked at some of the nuances of these agreements. These continuity agreements with different countries around the world represent a relatively small but not insignificant share of UK agricultural export trade, and we examine in this article the evolution of these continuity agreements over the past 12 months and the impact of the publication of the new UK Global Tariff (UKGT) on these developments. The UK is trying to replicate the effects of existing EU agreements at a time when they no longer apply to the UK. After 31 December 2020, EU trade agreements will no longer apply to the UK. The UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020. Subsequently, the United Kingdom entered a transitional period that ends on 31 December 2021. During this period, the United Kingdom still has to turn away from the internal market and the customs union, a process that is arguably more laborious and complex than the initial withdrawal agreement. The next deadline of 31 December 2020 has the potential to have a much deeper impact on agriculture.
Although the UK Government has continued to sign continuity agreements, they still account for a small portion of the UK`s total agricultural exports, but some important partners have yet to be signed. If the UK leaves the customs union and the internal market without a trade deal, the UK will trade with the EU and a number of other important partners with regard to WTO rules which, as we have already studied, will have a number of effects on agriculture. After leaving the European Union, the UK plans to negotiate trade agreements to replace and complement members of the EU Customs Union. Since October 2020[update], the UK has concluded a new trade agreement (with Japan) for the continuation of 20 existing agreements (EU) and new negotiations are under way. The British government calls itself a proponent of free trade.   Even if a trade agreement is concluded, all new controls will not be removed, as the EU requires that certain products (such as food) from third countries be checked.