Sunday, October 17

EU and UK reach post-Brexit trade deal

Correspondent in Brussels



He United Kingdom and the European Union They have reached a balanced and acceptable agreement for their future relations, based on a Free Trade Agreement without quotas or tariffs, which will enter into force provisionally on January 1 and will avoid a traumatic rupture between the Union and its former member. The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the European negotiator, Michel Barnier, have appeared at a press conference to confirm this agreement.

Discussions about fishing have been the biggest obstacle to reaching this solution in recent hours and it seems that they have been overcome thanks to the direct intervention of Von der Leyen and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, with several telephone conversations and the agreement to renegotiate this field again in five and a half years. The President of the Commission has assured Europeans that “competition in the single market will remain fair” since “EU rules and standards will be respected and we have effective tools to react if fair competition is distorted and affects our Commerce”. At the same time it is ensured that ‘we will continue to operate with the UK in all areas of mutual concern, such as climate change, energy, security and transport’.

Michel Barnier began his speech with a historic nod to the first thing he said after being appointed chief negotiator four years ago and has been able to say that “the clock is no longer ticking.” “The United Kingdom has renounced the rights and benefits of being a member of the EU and there will therefore be changes from 1 January, which will be the consequences of Brexit». Barnier has regretted that the British have given up certain aspects, including participating in the Erasmus program, which “is something they have chosen and I regret it.”

The chaos that has occurred in British customs in recent days due to the closure of communications with Europe has served to illustrate what could happen if before January 1 there was no treaty regulating the rules between the two former partners.

On the British side, the analyzes focus on Boris Johnson’s efforts to convince the most radical Brexiters within his own party not to accuse him of being a traitor. Johnson has said that with this agreement “British companies will be able to do even more business than before” in the European market. It has also welcomed the fact that British justice will no longer be subject to the authority of the European court in Luxembourg. In the last hours, its services were finalizing a report according to which the British positions would have prevailed in 43% of the points, 40% would have been mutual commitments and the EU would have obtained advantages in the remaining 17%. From Europe, French government sources cited in the press of this country assure, on the contrary, that “The UK has made huge concessions” to avoid a no-deal breakup.

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