Brussels (Associated Press)-The European Union and the United Kingdom announced this broad agreement on Saturday, which is likely to affect future trade and cooperation between the two countries from January 1st, thereby bringing the G27 to its former member states. The relationship with neighboring countries is set to be new, but far from it.
EU ambassadors and legislators on both sides of the English Channel will now conduct an in-depth study of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. It contains more than 1,240 pages of text. The EU envoy is expected to meet on Monday to discuss the document, which was drawn up during nine months of intense negotiations.
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Most importantly, the current agreement ensures that after Britain leaves the European Union completely, the United Kingdom can continue to trade in goods with the world’s largest trading group without tariffs or quotas. It ceased to be a full member on January 31 this year, and it is still a few days away from the end of the transition period.
However, as Britain has lost a huge market that only member states can guarantee, Britain will face other obstacles. They range from access to water for fishing to energy markets, and they also include daily contacts that are so important to citizens, such as travel arrangements and educational exchanges.
The EU member states are expected to approve the agreement next week. British lawmakers can vote on this on Wednesday. However, even if they approve the text, it can only take effect temporarily on New Year’s Day, because the European Parliament must also have its say.
EU lawmakers said last weekend that there is simply not enough time to properly review the text before the deadline. If the approval process goes smoothly, they will debate and vote on the document in January and February.
Despite the agreement, many issues remain unresolved, including security cooperation-the UK will lose access to real-time information in certain EU law enforcement databases-and the UK’s huge financial services sector’s access to the EU market.
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