No Xmas for EU ambassadors, meet on Christmas Day to review post-Brexit trade deal
London, Dec 24, 2020 (AltAfrica)-European Union, EU ambassadors have sacrificed the Christmas holiday for Brexit and will be meeting at 10:30am CET on Friday, Christmas Day, to begin reviewing the post-Brexit trade deal clinched on Thursday by the EU and Britain, an EU spokesman said.
“The German EU Council Presidency has just convened a COREPER meeting for tomorrow 10.30am. EU Ambassadors will start reviewing the EU-UK agreement,” an EU spokesman for Germany, which holds the bloc’s rotating presidency, said on Twitter. COREPER is the name given to meetings of EU envoys.
Reuters reports that The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will provide a briefing on the EU-UK negotiations, he said.
Britain and the European Union struck a trade deal on Thursday, agreeing the terms just days before the end of the Brexit transition period.
It averts a chaotic finale to four-and-half-years of fraught negotiations but the United Kingdom is still heading for a much more distant relationship with its biggest trade partner than almost anyone expected at the time of the 2016 Brexit vote.
At a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny.”
The text of the agreement has yet to be released, but the PM claimed it was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.
The UK is set to exit EU trading rules next Thursday – a year after officially leaving the 27 nation bloc.
It will mean big changes for business, with the UK and EU forming two separate markets, and the end of free movement.
But the trade deal will come as a major relief to many British businesses, already reeling from the impact of coronavirus, who feared disruption at the borders and the imposition of tariffs, or taxes on imports.
As the deal was announced, Mr Johnson – who had repeatedly said the UK would “prosper mightily” without a deal – tweeted a picture of himself smiling with both thumbs lifted in the air.
The deal is done. pic.twitter.com/zzhvxOSeWz— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 24, 2020
At his press conference, he said: “We have completed the biggest deal yet worth £668bn a year.
“A comprehensive Canada-style deal between the UK and the EU. A deal that will protect jobs across this country, that will enable UK goods to be sold without tariffs, without quotas in the EU market.
“A deal which will allow our companies to do even more business with our European friends.”
In a statement, Downing Street said: “We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters.”
Echoing Mr Johnson’s general election slogan, it added “we have got Brexit done”.