“Deal closed,” said a statement from Downing Street. “Everything the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and last year’s general election was delivered under this agreement.”
Negotiations stalled for months after the two sides were unable to reach an agreement in areas such as fishing quotas, such as the United Kingdom would use state aid to support British post-Brexit companies and legal oversight of any closed deals.
It is unlikely that the deal will be formally ratified before the end of the Brexit transition, as it still needs to go through a series of legal obstacles.
EU leaders, the European parliament and the UK government will now need to approve the agreement on their own.
The legal text of the agreement will first be translated, revised and approved by all 27 EU member states.
Once all member states have given their approval, he will return to the European Parliament, where members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote to ratify the agreement.
But the European Parliament said it was too late to hold an emergency voting session before the transition period ended on December 31.
Instead, they plan to apply the EU-UK agreement “provisionally”, with MEPs formally meeting to ratify the agreement in the New Year.
In the meantime, there is likely to be a vote in the British parliament to legalize the deal.
Even if trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval, UK lawmakers are likely to be brought back from the Christmas holiday to debate and approve.
It can take up to 48 hours to bring Parliament back to the session, however, it is known that it acts very quickly when necessary.
While the deal is a significant milestone in the four and a half years since the UK voted to leave the EU, it is unlikely to end years of toxic political debate in the UK.
Euroskeptic lawmakers are already organizing efforts to ensure that an agreement does not leave room for the UK to return to EU orbit. In the meantime, pro-Europeans will hope that, at some point in the future, the United Kingdom, perhaps under new leadership, will be able to strengthen ties with Brussels.
This is a developing story …