Brexit: Details of deal set to be announced on Christmas Eve
A post-Brexit trade deal is on the cusp of being delivered more than four and a half years after 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union. Brexit negotiators have combed through the finer details of more than 2,000 pages of legal texts this morning with an announcement from the Prime Minister and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expected later.
Lengthy negotiations have been ongoing throughout the 11-month Brexit transition period and according to an internal government paper, the UK has scored a victory in almost half of the key problem areas.
A table of analysis of the talks seen by political website Guido Fawkes, shows the UK believes it has gained the upper-hand in twice as many areas than the EU.
The document assesses the deal in 65 key areas, ranging from trade barriers, the level playing field, tax, and fisheries.
According to the Government paper, the UK negotiating team won in 28 or 43 percent of areas.
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The other 26 areas or 40 percent were deemed to be “mutual compromises”, and the remaining 11 topics or 17 percent were labelled “EU wins”.
Fishing and the so-called level playing field have been the main problem areas in the talks and according to the analysis, Britain has been freed from EU regulations but has caved in on access to UK waters.
On the level playing field (LPF) the text says the EU asked for an “unprecedented level of alignment with their own regulatory framework”.
But, the document claims the UK won the argument against the provisions, it says: “The LPF provisions are not based on EU law. There is no concept of EU law in the Treaty.”
In a short section of the paper, fishing has been categorised as a “mutual compromise” and says fixed quotas for EU vessels in UK waters will remain in place for more than five years.
It says: “Annual quota system returns after a 5 and a half year transition, during which access is fixed.”
The UK had pushed for annual negotiations on fishing quotas from as early as next year, but the EU wanted greater reassurances for its fishermen.
Britain had wanted to take back control of as much as 60 percent of fish in UK waters but according to reports, this could be reduced to less than third.
The paper also addresses other key topics, including trade barriers, and it says the UK has won and been granted the right to “regulatory autonomy”.
It adds: “In specific areas such as our approach to conformity assessment (testing to ensure the safety of goods) the UKs successfully resisted attempts to tie us to EU approaches.”
Government influence over firms in the form of state aid had also been high on the negotiating agenda, and the document claims the UK has broken free from EU rules.
It says: “The deal allows the UK to set up its own subsidy regime and not have to follow the EU’s state aid regime or procedures.”
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The timing of an announcement remains uncertain and this morning Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE Radio there had been “some sort of last-minute hitch” on fishing.
The new partnership between the UK and EU is estimated to cover goods and services worth £670billion.
Parliament is expected to be recalled after Boxing Day to enable the House of Commons then House of Lords to vote on the deal.
The influential European Research Group, made up of Tory MPs has said it will reconvene its so-called “star chamber” of legal experts to examine the text.
The deal also needs the support of the European Parliament and all 27 EU member states.
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