International media, particularly in the UK are reporting that the Brexit deal has been struck. After years of uncertainty and months of shilly-shallying, the two have agreed on terms of divorce. The BBC reports that negotiating teams talked through the night to finalise the details of the agreement and that at the moment, fishing rights believed to be the final outstanding issue but it seems likely that the pending matters in this, too are minor in nature.
UK cabinet ministers held a conference call late on Wednesday to discuss a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. UK PM Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also held talks throughout Wednesday. The two sides have one week to get any deal formally approved in London and Brussels. The UK left the EU at the end of January, but remains under its trading rules until 31 December. If a deal is not signed off by then, tariffs – or taxes on goods – could come into force.
The Statement from 10, Downing Street as reported in The Guardian, reads:
“Deal is done. Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal.
- We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters
- The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK. We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU
- The deal is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth £668bn in 2019
- The deal also guarantees that we are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU, we are not bound by EU rules, there is no role for the European Court of Justice and all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved. It means that we will have full political and economic independence on 1st January 2021
- A points-based immigration system will put us in full control of who enters the UK and free movement will end
- We have delivered this great deal for the entire United Kingdom in record time, and under extremely challenging conditions, which protects the integrity of our internal market and Northern Ireland’s place within it
- We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us as an independent trading nation, striking trade deals with other partners around the world”