At the end of the year, Great Britain will leave the institutions of the European Union (EU) for good. After agreeing a joint agreement, the EU has now initiated the provisional application of the Brexit trade pact from January 1st.
The ambassadors of the 27 member states tentatively said yes to the proposal and started a decision by written procedure, which should be finalized on Tuesday at 3 p.m. This was announced by a spokesman for the German EU Council Presidency on Twitter.
The provisional application is necessary because there is no time for ratification by the European Parliament before the end of the year – it should be made up for after the New Year. The transition period after Britain’s exit from the EU in January already expires on December 31, and Great Britain is also leaving the internal market and the customs union. The contract is intended to avoid a severe economic break. On the British side, Parliament is due to vote on December 30th.
The federal government had previously supported the agreement. The Federal Cabinet, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), was in a conference call “unanimous in the positive appreciation of the agreement,” said the deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer. “Germany can agree to the agreement.”
The negotiators on both sides had only agreed on the almost 1,250-page agreement on Christmas Eve. The most important point is to ensure unlimited trade in goods without tariffs. In addition, the contract regulates cooperation in the fields of fishing, air and road transport, energy supply, the fight against crime and social security.
Despite the agreement, the economic ties between the two sides will in future be far less close than they have been up to now. For example, goods controls are necessary at the borders, among other things because evidence of compliance with EU food safety rules and compliance with product standards has to be provided.