► Brexit agreement: what to remember
♦ At the end of a marathon negotiation, the Twenty-Seven and the United Kingdom finally agreed on the terms of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
♦ Although the exact content of the agreement has not yet been disclosed, it will in any case make it possible to avoid a “no deal” with potentially destructive effects for the European and British economies.
♦ The Europeans have pledged to reduce their fishing value by 25% in order to continue to have access to British territorial waters, a major issue for the fishing industry.
► 6 p.m. – British MPs summoned to vote on the agreement
British MPs, currently on vacation, are summoned on December 30 to debate the trade deal, the lower house of Parliament said Thursday.
Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, “Acceded to a government request to recall the House on 30 December at 9.30 am for MPs to debate legislation giving effect in UK law to the agreement reached with the EU”, said the institution.
► 5:25 p.m. – EU gives up 25% of its fishing in UK waters
As part of the post-Brexit deal, the EU will transfer 25% of the value of products caught in UK waters by European fleets to the UK, after a transition period until June 2026.
The details of the species and areas affected by this percentage are not yet determined, added the official. After this period of five and a half years, this access will be renegotiated annually. In addition, EU fishermen will retain until 2026 guaranteed access to areas within 6-12 nautical miles off the British coasts (territorial waters) where they traditionally went.
→ ANALYSIS. Brexit: few in number, French fishermen know how to make themselves heard
► 5:15 p.m. – “Brexit is coming against the will of the people of Scotland”
The reaction of Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Prime Minister: “Brexit comes against the will of the people of Scotland, and no deal can ever make up for what Brexit takes away from us. It is time to chart our own future as an independent European nation ” (Twitter).
► 4:55 p.m. – Emmanuel Macron welcomes “European unity and firmness”
In a tweet, the French president believes that Brexit is a sign that “Europe is moving forward and can look to the future”, while stressing that the agreement protects citizens, fishermen and producers.
► 4:45 p.m. – The text must be validated by the Member States and MEPs
The deal has yet to be validated by member states, a process that is expected to take several days. In theory, there is sufficient time left for a possible treaty to enter into provisional application on 1is January, when the United Kingdom, which officially left the EU on January 31, has definitively abandoned the single market. The text, of nearly 2,000 pages, would then be validated a posteriori by the European Parliament.
→ ANALYSIS. Brexit: will MEPs really have a say?
► 4:35 p.m. – An agreement that brings “stability” and “certainty” to the United Kingdom, according to Boris Johnson
“We have regained control of our waters, of our legislation”, recalled the Prime Minister in the preamble of his statement on Thursday, “We are now ready to go”.
The agreement reached will bring “Stability” and “Certainty”, supported Boris Johnson. “This agreement will give certainty to transporters, security services, scientists, who will continue to work together” as well as “Companies”. “There will be no customs duties from January 1, we will have a gigantic free trade area”, he rejoiced.
“We will be your allies”, finally declared the British Prime Minister. “From an emotional, strategic point of view, the UK will continue to be linked to the EU. “
► 4:15 p.m. – An agreement « unique » in its dimension, according to Michel Barnier
“For four and a half years, we have worked, in transparency, respect and dialogue, on this unique partnership agreement in its dimension”, said Michel Barnier, the negotiator for the European Union, who welcomed “The unit” European countries in this negotiation.
→ PORTRAIT. Faced with the United Kingdom, the European phlegm of Michel Barnier
► 4:05 p.m. – A “balanced” agreement, for Ursula von der Leyen
“This agreement is good, fair and balanced for each party”, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “It marks the culmination of a long journey”, continued the president, who greeted the “Professionalism” and ” endurance ” Michel Barnier and the team that negotiated this agreement over the past nine months.
She declares having, upon signing, experienced “Relief” and some “Joy” even if it is ” very difficult to say goodbye ”.
Video of the press conference in English, then in French from 7’25:
► 3:55 p.m. – The “no deal” avoided
This 2000-page agreement, which will be remembered as the Christmas agreement, or “Brexmas”, makes it possible in extremis to avoid a « no deal » potentially devastating. “Everything that was promised to the British during the referendum of 2016 and the legislative elections of last year is achieved in this agreement”, a British government source said on Thursday.
► 3:50 p.m. – A post-Brexit agreement finally signed
London and Brussels have finalized the post-Brexit trade deal they had been negotiating for ten months. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European negotiator Michel Barnier are due to give a press conference in the afternoon, a spokesperson for the European executive said. A speech by Boris Johnson, who welcomed the agreement on Twitter, is also expected.
♦ “We are in the final phase”, a European source indicated on Wednesday 23 December at the beginning of the afternoon, a second source evoking “Great chances” to strike a deal in the evening. After ten months of tense and laborious negotiations, the European Union and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on their future post-Brexit trade relationship, which allows them to avoid a « no deal » just eight days before the UK leaves the common market on December 31, 2020.
♦ Boris Johnson and Ursusa von der Leyen, actors of the agreement. The negotiations have been since Monday, December 21 in the hands of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who have increased the exchanges in recent days to wrest an agreement.
♦ Until the end, fishing remained a difficult subject. The two parties have finally reached an agreement on the access of European fishermen to British waters. Other issues, including hitherto problematic subjects, such as how to settle disputes and protections against unfair competition, had been settled earlier this week.
→ EXPLANATION. Brexit and fishing, why things are rocking between Brussels and London
♦ A delicate health context. Without an agreement, trade between the EU and London would have been carried out according to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), synonymous with customs duties, quotas, as well as administrative formalities liable to lead to massive traffic jams and delivery delays. A particularly delicate scenario for the United Kingdom, already battered by a more virulent variant of the coronavirus which isolated it from the rest of the world.
→ ANALYSIS. Brexit: is the new Covid crisis upsetting the negotiations?