The United Kingdom and European Union finally agreed on a Brexit deal
The UK is set to exit EU trading rules next Thursday – a year after officially leaving the 27 nation bloc. It will mean big changes for business, with the UK and EU forming two separate markets and the end of free movement.
After months of difficult negotiations, UK PM Boris Johnson has announced the final Brexit deal today. The text of the agreement has yet to be released, but the PM claimed it was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.
According to reports, the two sides have agreed to a largely tariff and quota-free trade arrangement, but this does not necessarily ensure frictionless trade as businesses had hoped.
In a press conference in Brussels, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen said: “This was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it.”
She said the deal was “fair” and “balanced” and it was now “time to turn the page and look to the future”. The UK “remains a trusted partner,” she added.
At his press conference, Boris Johnson said the £668bn a year agreement would “protect jobs across this country” and “enable UK goods to be sold without tariffs, without quotas in the EU market”.
He acknowledged he had been forced to give ground on his demands on fishing.
“The EU began with I think wanting a transition period of 14 years, we wanted three years, we’ve ended up at five years,” he said.
And he said the UK had not got all it wanted on financial services, a vital part of the UK economy, but he insisted the deal was “nonetheless going to enable our dynamic City of London to get on and prosper as never before”.
The UK Parliament will be recalled on 30 December to vote on the deal – it will also need to be ratified by the European Parliament.