Reuters Antonio Bronic
Britain and the European Union have published the text of the draft post-“Brexit” trade agreement, which was coordinated recently between them after long and difficult negotiations.
The 1,246-page deal includes the trade agreement itself, in addition to a package of additional agreements specifically related to nuclear energy issues and the exchange of confidential information, in addition to a set of joint announcements.
The chief of the European Commission, Michel Barnier, offered the agreement on Friday to the 27 member states of the Union, and ratification procedures are expected to begin next Monday.
In order to enter into force on January 1, the document needs to be supported by member states separately, then a unanimous vote in their favor in the European Council.
This will allow the agreement to start working temporarily until the end of February, and for the approval process to be completed, the deal will need the support of the European Parliament and the final decision of the European Council.
For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously announced that the country’s parliament would vote on the new deal on December 30.
Johnson described, in a video message he addressed to citizens on the occasion of Christmas on Friday, the concluded agreement as “a small gift on the occasion of Eid.”
Johnson stressed that the agreement provides certainty for companies, travelers and all investors in the United Kingdom from early next year, when the country will actually emerge from one of the largest commercial conglomerates in the world.
In the meantime, the “European Research Group” (ERG) within the British Conservative Party decided to form a special lawyers committee to study the concluded deal.
The “Telegraph” newspaper quoted Johnson as reassuring skeptical lawmakers about Europe, saying, in a WhatsApp message, that what was reached was a correct deal for the United Kingdom and the European Union alike.
Johnson admitted in the letter, according to the newspaper, that “the devil is in the details”, expressing at the same time his complete conviction that the concluded deal will pass any harsh examination by the committee.
Source: Guardian + Independent + Reuters + TASS