Britain and EU release full text of post-Brexit trade deal

December 27, 2020 12:00 am | Updated 05:44 am IST - London

It lays out details on trade, law enforcement and dispute settlement

Way forward:Boris Johnson says the pact will preserve “free trade for millions in the U.K. and across Europe”.AFPPAUL GROVER

Way forward:Boris Johnson says the pact will preserve “free trade for millions in the U.K. and across Europe”.AFPPAUL GROVER

Britain and the European Union on Saturday published the full text of the post-Brexit trade agreement aimed at governing their relationship when the U.K. definitively leaves the bloc’s single market in just five days’ time.

The document, which is more than 1,200 pages long, lays out detail on trade, law enforcement and dispute settlement among other arrangements between Britain and the EU after the U.K. leaves the single market and customs union on December 31.

In the foreward to the copy of the text published by the U.K. government, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement had been “carefully judged to benefit everyone” and preserve “free trade for millions of people in the United Kingdom and across Europe”.

“While we made our fair share of compromises during the negotiations, we never wavered from the goal of restoring national sovereignty,” he added.

Senior U.K. government Minister Michael Gove wrote in The Times newspaper that Thursday’s agreement would allow Britain to bring “innovation and investment to parts of the country that have endured economic decline”.

He added there were still “significant changes” to be prepared for by businesses in the short term.

To ratify the deal, Britain’s Parliament has been recalled to sit on December 30. U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party said its MPs would back it.

In Brussels, the European Commission has proposed the agreement be applied on a provisional basis until 28 February.

The European Parliament will be asked for its consent to the deal in 2021 and for the process to be concluded the Council, which brings together the executives of all 27 member states, must adopt the decision.

The EU has offered Britain unprecedented tariff- and quota-free access to its single market of 450 million consumers.

But it has in return secured London's commitment to respect its always-evolving rules in some areas such as environmental protection, labour regulation and tax, aiming to avoid Britain undercutting companies inside the bloc.

The U.K. has also signed up to guarantees that it will not abuse state aid to firms to seek an unfair advantage.

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