EU Nations welcome UK trade deal

Brussels: The European Parliament and EU member states hailed the last-minute deal reached on Thursday with relief while some, with a sentiment tinged with caution, pledged to scrutinize the text before giving a green light.

Just seven days before the Brexit transition period was slated to end on 31 December, the European Union (EU) and the UK announced the reaching of an agreement that will govern the trade and security relationship between the two sides starting from 1 January, 2021.

The European Parliament and EU member states hailed the last-minute deal reached on Thursday with relief while some, with a sentiment tinged with caution, pledged to scrutinize the text before giving a green light, reports Xinhua news agency.

At a press conference in Brussels on Thursday evening, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the 27-member bloc has reached a fair and balanced agreement with the UK, which officially exited the EU this January.

It is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is right and responsible thing to do for both sides.  To our friends in the UK, I want to say, parting is such sweet sorrow, she added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his virtual press conference at Downing Street, said his country has “taken back control” when securing the post-Brexit trade deal.

We have taken back control of every jot and title of our regulation, in a way that is complete and unfettered, he said.

Johnson also said the agreement offers certainty for businesses across the whole country and will benefit the whole of Britain because there will be no palisade of tariffs on 1 January (2021) and there will be no non-tariff barriers to trade.

The deal will need the approval of the European Parliament, the British Parliament and the EU’s 27 member states.

The EU is likely to impose a provisional application of the agreement until MEPs vote on it in 2021.

Hailing the historical importance of the deal, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country will examine it to decide whether it supported the result.

With the agreement, we are creating the basis for a new chapter in our relationship, Merkel said in a statement, adding that the government will now intensively examine the text of the agreement to judge quickly whether Germany can support the negotiation result. I am very confident that we have a good result here, said Merkel.

 

Agency