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A post-Brexit agreement applicable from January 1

Representatives of EU member states on Monday gave the green light to the provisional application, from this Friday, of the trade agreement between Brussels and London, pending approval by MEPs in early 2021.

Representatives of EU member states on Monday gave the green light to the provisional application, from this Friday, of the trade agreement between Brussels and London, pending approval by MEPs in early 2021.

(AFP) – “The ambassadors (of the Twenty-Seven) have unanimously approved the provisional application on January 1, 2021 of the trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom”, tweeted a spokesperson of the German Presidency of the EU. The governments of member states must formally endorse and sign the agreement by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, he said.

“Germany can accept the negotiated deal,” Ulrike Demmer, a spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel, confirmed at a press conference, reporting a “positive assessment” of the deal by Berlin . After formal approval by the Twenty-Seven, the text will be published in the Official Journal of the EU by Thursday to allow its entry into force on January 1, 2021.

Its application will only be temporary on that date, pending ratification by the European Parliament: the institution, whose green light is essential, could thus organize an extraordinary plenary session at the end of February to vote on the text. The agreement provides for provisional application until February 28, unless another deadline is agreed upon by both parties.

MEPs wondered Monday whether it was possible to extend this provisional implementation beyond the end of February in order to have more time to analyze the document, which is some 1,200 pages long, according to a parliamentary source, after a meeting the chairmen of political groups in Parliament. “The dialogue continues with the European Parliament: fruitful exchanges this morning with the conference of group presidents,” said on Twitter Michel Barnier, the European negotiator, who spoke at the meeting, as well as the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

For their part, British MPs were summoned for this Wednesday, December 30 to debate the post-Brexit agreement, which promises to be a formality given the majority available to Boris Johnson’s conservative government and the support of the Labor opposition. London and Brussels reached a post-Brexit free trade agreement on Thursday, December 24, at the end of harsh negotiations, making it possible in extremis to avoid a potentially devastating “no deal” for their economies.

The transition period, since the UK left the EU in January 2020, ends at the end of December with the British exit from the single market. With this economic and trade partnership, the EU offers the British access without tariffs or quotas to its market of 450 million consumers, but provides for penalties and compensatory measures in the event of non-compliance with its rules on state aid, environmental aid, labor law and taxation to avoid any dumping.


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