Brexit: Johnson announces UK has completed trade deal with EU
The UK and European Union have finally reached a historic agreement on post-Brexit trade, some four years after Britain first voted to end the nation’s relationship with the Brussels bloc. The new deal has been hailed as fair and balanced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, while Boris Johnson said the agreement was good for the “whole of Europe”.
Speaking from Number 10 Downing Street today, the Prime Minister said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered.”
Some 500 pages of the deal have yet to be published and the agreement is still to be ratified.
But MPs are expected to vote on the agreement in Parliament on December 30, but it is expected to pass through the House of Commons, with Sir Keir Starmer confirming Labour will “accept it and vote for it”.
The deal will come into effect on January 1 2021 after the transition period ends.
But what does it mean for Britain? Express has rounded up four ways the deal will benefit Britain.
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1) Zero tariffs and zero quotas to EU under the deal – first nation to ever do this with EU
Mr Johnson today described the agreement, worth £660 billion as “the biggest trade deal yet”.
He said it was a “comprehensive Canada style free trade deal between the UK and the EU” that would “protect jobs across this country” and “allow UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without quotas in the EU market.”
He added it was a “deal which will if anything should allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends, and yet which achieves something that the people of this country instinctively knew was doable but which they were told was impossible.”
A foreword of the UK/EU treaty written by the Prime Minister, adds: “This ambitious agreement – carefully judged to benefit everyone – is the first the EU has ever reached allowing zero tariffs and zero quotas.
“We will preserved the immense benefits of free trade for millions of people in the UK and across Europe.”
2) National independence – Take back control of trade policy and waters
Fishing was one of the biggest hurdles in securing a deal, but today an agreement was reached.
The Prime Minister conceded that the UK gave ground on fisheries, but said that as a result of the deal Britain will be “an independent coastal state with full control of our waters” and would see its share of UK fish rising “substantially”.
The deal will allow the share of fish in British waters that the UK can catch to rise from around half now to two-thirds.
Mr Johnson said the EU had originally wanted a transition period of 14 years, while the UK wanted three, so they settled on a five-and-a-half year transition.
He added: “I think that was a reasonable transition period and I can assure great fish fanatics in this country that we will as a result of this deal be able to catch and eat quite prodigious quantities of extra fish.”
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3) No more payments to EU – more money spent at home
In 2018 the UK government paid £13 billion to the EU budget, reports show.
Britain’s contributions to the budget vary annually but have grown in recent years.
Since the beginning of the Brexit debate, the notion of taking back control has been vital for the UK Government.
And today, the Prime Minister secure a deal which would end millions of pounds in payments to the Brussels bloc.
Mr Johnson’s foreword said: “We will take back control of our money by ending vast payments to the EU.”
4) Take control of our laws – no role for EU law or ECJ
Prior to Brexit, some EU law was directly applicable to the UK which meant that the legislation applied automatically in UK law.
This will end under the Brexit deal, with Mr Johnson confirming “the only laws we will have to obey are the ones made by the parliament we elect”.
The Prime Minister said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered.
“British laws will be made solely by the British Parliament interpreted by British judges sitting in UK courts and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end.”
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