Brexit Deal – Christmas Eve 2020

On Christmas Eve 2020 the UK and the European Union approved an agreement on a trade deal after Brexit.

The last-minute deal allowed Britain to continue trading with the EU and may avoid the massive disruption to the economy and people’s lives expected if there had been no deal.

Exactly how the deal affects business, the economy and individuals will only become clearer with time.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson unsurprisingly heralded the Christmas Eve deal as delivering on Brexit by taking back control of UK laws and destiny. He said the deal would protect jobs, allow UK goods to be sold without tariffs and quotas in the EU market, and allow companies to do even more business with Europe.

From January 1, the UK will be outside the European customs union and single market, Johnson said, and British laws will be made solely by the British parliament, interpreted by UK judges sitting in UK courts, and no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice – all demands of ardent Brexiteers.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the deal was fair and balanced and Brussels would “continue cooperating with the UK in all areas of mutual interest” such as climate change, transport and security.
She said agreement on the highly contentious but symbolic issue of fishing rights guaranteed 5½ years of “full predictability for our fishing communities”. 

Even as the ink dried on the Brexit trade deal there were of course questions about Britain’s future relationship with the EU – including the possibility of rejoining. 
AEJ member Nick Hopkinson – former director of international policy forum Wilton Park and a long-time supporter of close relations with the EU – predicted future British governments would eventually seek closer relations again and may even want to rejoin.

UK and EU agree on deal
UK EU deal
Johnson heralds deal
Ursula von der Leyen on deal
Rejoining the EU?
The deal explained
FT analysis
AP analysis
Council on Foreign Relations analysis

Brexit coverage:
Associated Press (AP)
Financial Times(FT)
The Guardian
Questions about the deal
Impact of the deal