Thu Dec 24th, 2020 at 04:12:03 PM EST
Looks like there will be a Brexit deal for Christmas, after all.
Brexit: EU, UK clinch trade and security deal - DW
EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference that the two sides "finally" reached a deal.
Frontpaged - Bernard
"It was a long and winding road, but we have a good deal to show for it," she said on Thursday.
She added that the UK and the EU will continue cooperating on areas of mutual interest, naming climate, energy, security, and transport.
"I believe, also, that this agreement is in the United Kingdom's interest. It will set solid foundations for a new start with a long-term friend. And it means that we can finally put Brexit behind us, and Europe is continuing to move forward," she added.
Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator said "the clock is no longer ticking" -- a reversal of his warning in August after a round of trade talks left the two sides exasperated.
He said the EU will support fishermen. Fisheries had been a key sticking point throughout Brexit talks.
He said he regrets that the UK had chosen not to participate in the Erasmus program student exchange program. He also said the agreement reached on free movement was not a sign of historically close ties.
(Too bad for the British youth)
UK, EU agree a Brexit trade deal - Politico
Negotiators had been under huge pressure because of fears there wouldn't be enough time to turn any agreement into law before the end of the transition period on December 31, meaning the two sides could end up trading on unfavorable World Trade Organization terms.
The deal will be a boost to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders, all of whom were anxious not to be blamed if the U.K. crashed out without some kind of agreement.
"Negotiations were difficult ... but it was such a wide-reaching agreement ... that it was worth fighting for it," von der Leyen said.
"Competition in our single market will be fair and remain so. The EU rules and standards will be respected. We have effective tools to react if fair competition is distorted and impacts our trade."
Details are still very scarce, especially on the fisheries that were a major sticking point. See Oui's diary:Fisheries To Be Sacrificed for A Deal