Politics

Brexit deal done: What we know so far about trade agreement between UK and EU


T

he UK and EU have gone right to the wire to secure a post-Brexit trade deal and each side has been keen to put forward they have negotiated a solid agreement.

However the 500 pages of the deal have yet to be published and so there are still thought to be key factors that will emerge over the coming days.

The agreement comes into effect on January 1 2021 after the transition period ends and here are the key points we know so far.

Fishing

The UK gave ground on fisheries, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted, but said that as a result of the deal the country will be “an independent coastal state with full control of our waters” and would see its share of UK fish rising “substantially”.

Tariffs

The deal is worth £668 billion a year and will enable UK goods to be sold without tariffs or quotas in the EU market – allowing UK companies to do even more business with the continent, the Prime Minister said.

Level playing field

Brussels said the agreement included binding enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms which will “ensure that rights of businesses, consumers and individuals are respected”, though Mr Johnson suggested the EU had made concessions on this area.

Services

The UK said there are “unprecedented measures to allow UK solicitors, barristers and advocates to practise in the EU using their UK title”, as well as a “highly comprehensive deal in digital trade”.

State aid

The deal ends the EU State Aid regime and allows the UK to introduce its own “modern subsidy system so that we can better support businesses to grow and thrive”, the UK said.

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Laws

Mr Johnson said that after January 1, 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”.

Transport

The agreement provides for “continued and sustainable air, road, rail and maritime connectivity”, the European Commission said, with provisions to ensure passenger rights and transport safety are not undermined.

Security

The Prime Minister said he was “absolutely confident” the deal would protect police co-operation, the ability to catch criminals and to share intelligence across the European continent “in the way that we have done for many years”.

Students

Mr Johnson said the Erasmus student exchange programme – which had seen participants able to study across Europe – would be replaced by a worldwide scheme named after Bletchley Park code breaker Alan Turing.

Healthcare

The agreement will enable UK citizens to access healthcare when travelling in the EU, with reciprocal cover for EU member states which are responsible for the healthcare of an individual, according to a UK Government summary.

State pensions

The agreement provides for the uprating of the UK state pension paid to pensioners who retire to the EU, the Government said.

Science

The UK will be able to continue participating in the Horizon Europe scientific research programme, as well as the Euratom Research and Training programme and the space programme Copernicus.

Review date

A formal review of the arrangements can take place after four years. If either side does not believe the system is working fairly, they will be able to end the trade agreement – meaning the two sides would trade on WTO terms.

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Preparations

People and businesses must still prepare for the end of the transition period, Mr Johnson stressed, though said there were “all sorts of things” in the agreement to make sure “things flow as smoothly as we possibly can” at the borders.

Celebrations

The Prime Minister declined to recommend how people should celebrate the deal and the end of the transition period, saying: “I think we’ve done quite enough bossing people around recommending this or that over the last 10 months or so.”



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