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European Union ambassadors meet to review the Brexit deal on Christmas Day

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER), made up of EU ambassadors, on the agreement, which was finalized on Thursday more than four years after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

The agreement was reached after months of fraught negotiations and just days before the December 31 deadline that marks the end of the Brexit transition period.

The leaders of the European Union, the European Parliament and the British Parliament now need to approve the agreement themselves.

British lawmakers will debate the legislation on December 30th. The opposition Labor Party said it would support the government deal.

All EU member states have signed the agreement, after which it will return to the European Parliament, where members will vote to ratify the agreement.

The European Parliament said it was too late to hold an emergency vote before December 31.

Instead, they plan to implement the EU-UK agreement “temporarily”, with members of the European Parliament formally reconvening to ratify the agreement in the new year. Parliament meets on December 28 to discuss the Christmas Eve deal.

The main points of the deal

  • Tariffs and zero quotas on goods
  • End of freedom of movement, which means that UK citizens will not have the right to work, live, study or start a business in the EU without a visa
  • Border checks will apply between the UK and EU member states
  • There will be no hard border on the island of Ireland between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • The United Kingdom will be able to further develop British fishing activities for a period of at least 5 and a half years, during which time European fishing communities will be protected
  • A shared commitment to protecting the environment, combating climate change and pricing carbon
  • A shared commitment to protect social and labor rights
  • Maintain standards of tax transparency
  • Rights of passengers and workers in the transport sector
  • The United Kingdom continued to participate in a number of EU programs until 2027 such as Horizon Europe, subject to a financial contribution from the United Kingdom.
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Deal summary It has been posted on the UK government website.

Speaking shortly after the announcement on Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement was a “good deal” for “all of Europe” – an agreement signifying “new stability and new certainty in what was at times flawed and difficult” connection.

Echoing the nationalist rhetoric that featured prominently in the Brexit referendum campaign, he said: “We have regained control of our laws and our destiny … As of January 1, we are outside the customs union and outside the single market; British laws will only take over the British Parliament, and its interpretation from Before the UK judges sitting in the UK courts; the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will expire. “

Johnson claimed that the United Kingdom had struck a “Canadian-style” trade deal worth 660 billion pounds (893 billion US dollars) and touched upon the agreement on fisheries – a major point of contention in the negotiations – saying that the UK had regained “full control” over Its waters.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union concluded a fair and balanced trade agreement after Brexit, but indicated that the bloc had the upper hand in the negotiations.

“As we learned, however, if there had been a difficult exit from the European Union it wouldn’t be good for both sides, but it would have hit the UK harder than the EU with all its strength of 450 million citizens.” Von der Leyen said at a press conference on Thursday. It is therefore, from a position of strength, that we were able to reach a comprehensive agreement that we got. ”

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“So I say to all Europeans, it is time to leave Brexit – our future is made in Europe.”

Luke McGee and Kara Fox contributed to this story.

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