Brexit: Deal gives Isle of Man ‘certainty for the future’

Brexit: Deal gives Isle of Man ‘certainty for the future’

Speaking at a news conference at Downing Street, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth 660 billion pounds ($880 billion) a year, a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal with the European Union".

The Isle of Man is not an European Union member but is a party to trade agreements through its relationship with the UK. Britain withdrew from the European Union on January 31, and an economic transition period expires on December 31.

Anti-Brexit signs are pictured at the gates of Downing Street in London, Britain, December 24, 2020.

"We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters", Number 10 announced in an official statement.

Over the past few days, Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have been drawn more and more into the talks, speaking by phone in a bid to unblock negotiations that have dragged on for months, hampered by the pandemic and by the two sides' opposing views of what Brexit entails.

"There's some good language about equivalence for financial services, perhaps not as much as we would have liked, but it is nonetheless going to enable our dynamic City of London get on and prosper, as never before", said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Four and a half years after Britain voted to leave the EU, London and Brussels finally agreed a new trade and security agreement that will shape their relationship for decades to come.

The heavily divided parliament already appears to be jockeying for position in future trade fights, with pro-E.U. lawmakers looking to bring Britain closer to the rest of Europe and their more insular colleagues hoping to lock in British isolationism. Britain's official economic forecasting body, the Office of the Budget Responsibility, estimates that a limited deal of this sort will leave UK GDP 4% smaller than it would have been by 2035.

The trade pact will not cover services, which make up 80 per cent of the British economy, including a banking industry that positions London as the only financial capital to rival NY.

Access to the European Union market for UK-based banks, insurers and asset managers will become patchy at best.

Mr Quayle said the UK-EU deal paved the way for an agreement that was "good for the island's people and economy". "Our future is made in Europe", she said.

"UK food and drink is breathing a sigh of relief that we have a deal but we will hold the celebrations until we have scrutinised the detail", said Ian Wright, chief executive of the FDF. The agreement is focused on free trade in goods. There will be some disruption at ports. Von der Leyen, quoting Shakespeare, said that "parting is such sweet sorrow". The decision will also allow the continued movement of equines between the United Kingdom and the EU. It will have more autonomy but be poorer, at least in the short term.

The Bank of England has said that, even with a trade deal, Britain's gross domestic product is likely to suffer a 1 per cent hit from Brexit in the first quarter of 2021.

"After four long years of uncertainty and upheaval, and just days before the end of transition, businesses will be able to muster little more than a muted and tired cheer", said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

The EU accounted for 43% of Britain's exports in 2019 with 294 billion pounds.

Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said time was now critically short.

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