Post-Brexit trade deal set to pass UK parliament on December 30

WION Web Team
London, London, UK (Great Britain) Published: Dec 25, 2020, 02:24 PM(IST)

Brexit trade deal Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.

Britain's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU looks certain to be passed when parliament is recalled on December 30 after the main opposition Labour party said it would vote in favour despite misgivings.

The speakers of both the lower and upper houses of parliament -- the House of Commons and House of Lords --  confirmed they would convene sessions during the Christmas-New Year break.

The votes will take place less than 48 hours before the trade deal is due come into effect, and are virtually assured to go in the Conservative government's favour after Labour leader Kier Starmer gave his backing to Johnson.

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said UK had agreed a “reasonable” five-and-half-year transition period with the EU over fisheries, longer than the three years it wanted but shorter than the 14 years it had originally asked for.

Johnson has an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, and Labour's support will override any rebellion by militant Brexiteers within the Conservative party who may reject the deal.

There was also reluctant backing from leaders of the UK's devolved nations.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, said in a statement that the deal "beggars belief".

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster said her Democratic Unionist Party had "consistently urged both sides to achieve a deal", stressing the need to maintain border-free trade between the province and EU member Ireland.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told the BBC that the deal would be "difficult" for Wales, but that it provided a "platform to which we can return to argue for improvements in the future".

On the EU side, member states are expected to give provisional approval to the Brexit deal before the European Parliament can weigh in next month.

Meanwhile, Britain’s fishing industry is disappointed that a Brexit trade deal struck with the European Union does not represent more of a reduction in the access that the bloc currently has to British waters.

(with inputs from agencies)

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