EU Ambassadors approve EU/UK trade deal

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All 27-member ambassadors have unanimously approved the post- trade deal between the EU and UK.

 This paves the way for it to take effect early in the new year. The European Parliament will vote on it in January however, under current EU rules, it can take effect provisionally.

After nine months of negotiations, this deal sets the framework for arrangements after the UK exits the European Union.

All 27 members will communicate this officially in writing at 1500 hours (1400 hours) on Tuesday.

They have had three days to analyse the details of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement, since its publication. However, most of the 1,246-page document had already been seen by member states in previous weeks.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in a tweet said he spoke with Charles Michel president of the European Council about the impending ratification of the agreement.

“I welcomed the importance of the UK/EU Agreement as a new starting point for our relationship, between sovereign equals,” he said.

The new trade deal:

  • enables the UK to continue selling goods to the EU market – the UK’s biggest trade partner – without tariffs or quotas
  • includes binding enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms to address any unfair competition – what the EU calls “level playing field” rules
  • ensures continued smooth transport links between the UK and EU, including safeguards on passenger rights
  • means new paperwork and other barriers for UK businesses in Europe, including financial services, which employs more than a million people in the UK
  • does little to address the needs of the UK service sector, accounting for about 80% of the UK economy
  • transfers 25% of EU boats’ fishing rights in British waters to the UK fleet, over a five-and-a-half year transition period
  • Reduces UK access to EU programmes in various fields, including policing and education.