Brexit: Deal or no deal?
We finally have an answer! Four and a half years after the European referendum in June 2016 and just a week before the transition period ends on December 31, the UK and the EU have formed a trade deal that will define their relationship for decades to come. They were able to strike a deal in the eleventh hour and avoid a no-deal outcome that would’ve led to costly tariffs and increased taxes on a wide variety of British goods transported between the two.
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The news was confirmed earlier today (December 24) in a tweet by Boris Johnson himself, which revealed that “the deal is done”. According to Johnson “We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters. The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK. We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved.”
The UK parliament will vote on the deal next week, which will likely pass due to Johnson’s majority in the House of Commons. Both the European Parliament and EU leaders will also need to approve the new deal before it comes into play on January 1, 2021.
Here’s what we know about the trade deal so far:
- Tariff-free trade will continue between the UK and the EU with no tariffs or quotas on goods
- British businesses exporting to Europe will now have to submit customs declarations
- British fishermen will gain a larger share of fish caught in British waters
- Brits travelling to the EU will need to have their passport stamped whenever they leave or re-enter the UK
- Those travelling to the EU for over 90 days will need a visa
- Brits driving to the EU will need a “green card”, a GB sticker and an International Driving Permit in some cases
- Travellers will also need to find new health insurance to replace the European Health Insurance Card, which will no longer be valid from January 1
- The Erasmus exchange programme will be replaced by the “Turing Scheme” which will give British students the opportunity to travel to “the best universities in the world” and not just those in Europe
While some of the details are still being ironed out, a spokesman for 10 Downing Street said “Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal.”