British Parliament approves post-Brexit trade deal with EU

British Parliament approves post-Brexit trade deal with EU

The 27 European Union member states have endorsed the post-Brexit trade deal brokered last Thursday and due to go into effect on January 1st.

British PM Johnson claimed that the United Kingdom had achieved a "Canada-style" trade deal worth £660 billion (US 3 billion) and addressed the agreement on fisheries - a key point of contention in the negotiations - saying that the United Kingdom had taken back "full control" of its waters.

However, party leader Sir Keir Starmer said that while the agreement is "thin" with "many flaws", the alternative is to leave the EU single market and customs union with no agreement, pushing up prices and driving businesses to the wall.

The key to the deal is that The Rock, whose sovereignty is disputed by Spain and Britain, will remain subject to rules in use in Europe's Schengen area, she said.

The French daily Liberation described the news as "a family drama to close the final episode of the good old Brexit saga".

LTraders in England, Scotland and Wales will have to complete more paperwork when dealing with European Union countries.

Making clear he was not happy with Boris Johnson's deal but nevertheless voting for it in preference to no-deal - a position distancing himself from the agreement - Starmer said: "A thin deal is better than no deal, and not implementing this deal would mean immediate tariffs and quotas with the European Union which would push up prices and drive businesses to the wall... leaving without a deal would also show the United Kingdom is not capable of agreeing the legal basis for the future relationship with our European Union partners. This moment is finally upon us and now is the time to seize it". That should help protect the 660 billion pounds ($1.15 billion Cdn) in annual trade between the two sides, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on it.

It added: "We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us as an independent trading nation, striking trade deals with other partners around the world".

Hauliers will face new rules, and lorry drivers heading for the Port of Dover will have to ensure they have a Kent Access Permit before entering the county on their way to the border.

But the agreement has been criticised for leaving firms with new paperwork and expenses.

Officials insisted new border systems were "ready to go" amid concerns about possible delays. Numerous details have yet to be hammered out.

Johnson said the Brexit deal would turn Britain from "a half-hearted, sometimes obstructive member of the EU" into "a friendly neighbor - the best friend and ally the European Union could have".

There had been no ferries earlier in the day due to the New Year.

'We will consider by 31 March 2021 whether market or regulatory developments warrant a review of our approach, the FCA said in a statement.

"I will always be a European, that's for sure".

Mr Johnson had been among those championing the phrase "taking back control", yet in his TV address on Thursday he said there would be no bonfire of regulations to build a "bargain basement Dickensian Britain" and that the country would remain the "quintessential European civilization".

He said: "The United Kingdom remains our neighbour, and also our friend and ally".

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