On Thursday, the European Union and the United Kingdom successfully reached a long awaited trade agreement (CFTA - EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement). Due to the impending exit of Britain from the Union at the end of this year, this deal is somewhat unsurprising, but of high importance.
A “no-deal” exit would have been economically and politically costly, especially for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He claimed the arrangement would benefit the whole of Europe with regard to competition, security and stability. According to President of the EU Commission Von Der Leyen, the deal is fair and balanced. Johnson admitted to having made concessions, especially regarding fishing rights.
The consequences the deal may have is still unclear. The U.K. will have access to the EU market without tariffs or other restrictions, while committing to European environmental, subsidy and social standards.
This is meant to create a “level playing field” among the two markets. Friction and disorder is still expected for the beginning of the New Year as businesses face new trade formalities and passengers await travel restrictions.