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Brexit Trade Deals Secured at Eleventh Hour

Brexit Trade Deals Secured at Eleventh Hour

(01 January 2020 – United Kingdom) British negotiators secured a raft of crucial trade deals before Brexit was officially executed and the United Kingdom (UK) departed the European Union (EU).

The UK and EU finally reached agreement on a trade deal worth £660 billion a year following a bitter referendum, two general elections, three prime ministers and four and half years of negotiations. Britain struck the historic Christmas Eve deal with the EU just days before the no-deal deadline. December 31 was the day Brexit was finally completed. Just after midnight on Dec 31 the Queen gave final approval to the legislation. Her signature puts the agreement into British law, preventing a no-deal Brexit at 11pm on Dec 31 when the transition period ended.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson likened the final deal to the "Canada plus plus" arrangement Brexiteers had wanted all along because it will have the benefits of the deal the EU struck with Canada but without any of the quotas or tariffs imposed on some Canadian goods.

Government officials secured 32 accords just in time for the end of the Brexit transition period, preserving terms of trade with 62 countries from South Korea to Singapore and Switzerland and Saint Lucia. Agreements signed with Canada and Mexico will not come into force for several weeks and deals with six other markets were not negotiated in time, triggering default tariffs and terms for trade with countries such as Algeria and Albania.

While Britain is looking to Australia, New Zealand and the United States for its initial trade agreements, officials have spent the past three years striving to preserve its access to those with which the country has traded with as a member of the EU. An 11th-hour deal with Turkey was finalised over Christmas after Britain's trade agreement with Brussels.

"The clock is no longer ticking" said EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.

"Numerically, not bad. Content wise, not so much of a success. Switzerland and Norway are, in fact, only partial rollovers. Mexico, Canada and South Korea also need to be renegotiated” stated UK Trade Policy Project Director, David Henig.

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