Brexit: Ursula von der Leyen signs trade agreement in Brussels


The Brexit treaty is on the way. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and EU council chief Charles Michel signed the almost 1,250-page trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Great Britain. From a Brussels point of view, this means that the last hurdle before the application of the contract is cleared from January 1st. The approval of the British Parliament and the necessary signatures in London should follow on Wednesday.
The document is now being flown to the British capital on a plane belonging to the British Air Force (RAF). Prime Minister Johnson is supposed to sign the contract there. The 27 EU countries have already officially approved the start of the Brexit trade pact on January 1st.
The work regulates trade relations between the EU and Great Britain after the British left Brexit. Great Britain and the EU had only agreed on the treaty on Christmas Eve. The laboriously negotiated trade and partnership agreement is intended to regulate economic relations between the island and the continent from January 2021.

The Brexit agreement is initially only valid for the time being

The most important point is to avoid tariffs and ensure that trade is as smooth as possible. The contract also includes fishing and cooperation on energy, transport, justice, police and many other topics. Great Britain had already left the EU at the end of January 2020, and membership in the EU internal market and the customs union is now also ending.

Council leader Michel praised the agreement as fair and balanced. It protects the interests of the European Union and creates stability and reliability for citizens and companies, explained Michel. The EU will continue to stand side by side with the United Kingdom on important issues, such as climate protection and the global fight against pandemics.

For the time being, however, the treaty can only be applied provisionally, because there was not enough time for ratification by the European Parliament before the end of the year – the agreement between both sides worked out at the last minute. The European Parliament wants to examine the text carefully. A vote is targeted in February or March.
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