A trade deal between the UK and the EU has been agreed, just days before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

The deal, which was announced by the UK Government on Christmas Eve, provisionally applies as of 1 January 2021.

The deal covers future arrangements relating to trade, security and business, with the agreement establishing zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU.

In a statement, the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said:

“We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it. It is fair. It is a balanced deal.”

Business groups have also responded to the announcement, with Jonathan Geldart, director-general of the Institute of Directors, commenting “for business leaders, this Christmas gift is better late than never.”

He said:

“A deal can draw a line under what has been a tumultuous few years for companies. It provides a stable basis for the future relationship with our biggest market.”

Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, added that after four years of “uncertainty and upheaval”, firms will have more guidance to prepare with.
Bob Wigley, executive chair of UK Finance, concluded:

“Concluding these negotiations with an agreement brings much-needed certainty for businesses and paves the way for the beginning of a new relationship with the European Union.

“Consumers and businesses in both the EU and UK will benefit from maintaining open and integrated capital markets and facilitating the flow of cross-border financial services in the years ahead.”

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