Brexit Trade deal: EU leaders sign EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to sign the agreement later today in London.
The European Union leaders signed the Brexit trade deal also known as the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on December 30, 2020. The agreement was signed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to sign the agreement later today in London. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted saying that it has been a long road and now it is time to put Brexit behind them.
Today, @eucopresident and I signed the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 30, 2020
Prime Minister @BorisJohnson will sign it later today in London.
It has been a long road. It’s time now to put Brexit behind us.
Our future is made in Europe. pic.twitter.com/fjybWryJNY
The European Union and the United Kingdom had agreed upon the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on December 24, 2020. The European Commission stated that the trade deal will be implemented only on a provisional basis, as there had not been time for the EU parliament to vote on it.
European Commission spokeswoman Dana Spinant tweeted saying that the signature would be an "important moment".
Tomorrow 9:30 CET, President @vonderleyen and @eucopresident will sign the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Important moment.— Dana Spinant (@DanaSpinant) December 29, 2020
The text of the draft agreement below:
•The UK Parliament is scheduled to ratify the deal later today. This is significant as the trade deal will do away with the threat of no trade deal Brexit on January 1, 2021.
•If Britain had left the EU single market at the end of the year without a trade deal, renewed tariffs and quotes would have damaged cross-Channel trade.
•Both sides hope that the trade deal, which was arrived upon after almost 10 months of intense negotiations, will form a stable basis to build a looser partnership.
•The United Kingdom had formally left the European Union on January 31, 2020, ending 47 years of membership. With this, Britain became the first-ever nation to leave the European Union.
•Britain's exit just initiated the divorce proceedings between the two, as future terms of trade and exchange will need to be agreed upon. Though formally Britain had exited the European Union, it continued to remain under EU trade rules until December 31, as no trade agreement was signed before Brexit happened.
•While the European Union had offered to prolong the post-Brexit transit period to 2022, as trade deals generally take years to get completed, the UK government-led by Boris Johnson had set an ambitious goal of reaching a new trade agreement by the end of 2020.
Why was the trade deal important?
The European Union is the United Kingdom's biggest trading partner and if no trade deal was agreed upon before the end of 2020, it could have disrupted trade and push Britain into recession.
Brexit was inevitable after the 2016 Brexit referendum when 51.9 percent votes were cast in favour of leaving the European Union and only 48.1 percent votes supported the referendum to stay in the European Union.
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