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The Brexit

Started by thaiga, June 13, 2016, 08:46:52 PM

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From tariffs to visas: here's what's in the Brexit deal
We take a look at the main agreements that make up the trade and security deal finalised on Christmas Eve

The Brexit trade and security deal, finalised on Christmas Eve, runs to 2,000 pages, including annexes. It will enter into force once approved by both sides.

The devil of what has been agreed will be in the detail – and will be pored over in the days to come.

Here are the main agreements, at a glance.


Tariff-free and quota-free access to one of the world's biggest markets is the backbone of the Brexit deal and goes beyond the EU's deals with Canada or Japan.


There will be mutual recognition of trusted trader programmes. This means UK producers will have to comply with both UK and EU standards.

Professional qualifications

There will be no more automatic recognition for doctors, nurses, architects, dentists, pharmacists, vets, engineers. They will now have to seek recognition in the member state they wish to practise in.

Mobility – freedom of movement

UK nationals no longer have the freedom to work, study, start a business or live in the EU. Visas will be required for stays over 90 days. Coordination of some social security benefits such as old-age pensions and healthcare will make it easier to work abroad and not lose any pre-existing build up of contributions to national insurance.


The UK will leave the common fisheries policy.

The annual turnover of EU fishing vessels from British waters is around €650m – compared with €850m for the UK-flagged fleet. New quotas reducing the EU's share by 25% are due to be phased in over five and a half years. A quarter of the EU's catch by value – €162.5m a year – will be "repatriated" to UK-flagged vessels by the end of that period. After that, the two sides will hold annual negotiations.

The EU vessels that fish six to 12 nautical miles from the British coastline will be able to continue during the transition, but access will be negotiated on an annual basis after that. There is a three-month notice for closing access. Should access be denied to either side, the other may seek compensation or apply tariffs in a proportionate way.

State aid

The EU had insisted the UK align with its state aid rules. Brussels was concerned that the UK government would seek to find a competitive advantage through subsidies. The UK successfully killed off this idea. The UK will set up its own subsidy regime. The new domestic enforcement body can make decisions over whether state aid has distorted trade after the subsidy has been granted. This is a major

concession by the EU.

However, the UK will have to ensure that its subsidy regime respects key principles set out in the treaty. The deal also allows both parties to adopt remedial measures if there is evidence that the domestic enforcement body has failed to uphold the shared principles.

Standards or level playing field

Both sides have agreed on a minimum level of environmental, social and labour standards below which neither must go.

Ursula von der Leyen said there would be a review after four years to ensure the level playing field was working.

One of the biggest sticking points in the talks was the EU's insistence on an "evolution clause", or "equivalence mechanism", as Downing Street termed it.

This would have allowed the EU to unilaterally apply tariffs on UK goods in the event of standards diverging over time. If one side upgraded their rulebook, the other would have to follow, or face consequences.

In the end, compromise was reached. It bears a closer resemblance to the UK objective than that of Brussels. The British government had merely wanted a reflection point in the future where the two sides could discuss upgrading the basic minimum below which neither could go.

The deal provides for a review and "rebalancing" clause, which allows either side to initiate a formal review of the economic parts of the deal, including the minimum level of standards.

If either side drags their feet on agreeing a new floor for standards, the other may apply tariffs subject to the approval of an independent arbitration panel.

Rules of origin

This determines what goods count as "made in Britain".

The UK persuaded Brussels that EU materials and processing should to be counted as British input when the completed products are exported into the European market.

A product would therefore only attract tariffs under the agreement if more than 40% of its pre-finished value was either not of British origin or from a non-EU country such as Japan.

The UK failed to secure diagonal accumulation, which would include parts from countries such as Japan and Turkey, with whom the UK and the EU have a trade agreement, to be counted as British input.

Dispute resolution

This was one of the most difficult areas of negotiation as it will set remedies for trade disputes for decades to come. Angela Merkel has said disagreement over an arbitration mechanism was the biggest obstacle to a deal.

The EU was concerned that the UK could, over time and depending on which government was in power, deviate so far from EU standards that it could carve out a significant competitive advantage and become a "Singapore on Thames".

If either party feels trade is being distorted, it can take measures after consultation. An arbitrage panel would meet within 30 days and adjudicate. If the measures were later seen to have been deemed erroneous or excessive, the aggrieved party would be able to take

compensatory measures.

It also appears there will be some kind of overarching UK-EU governance committee which will have subcommittees to implement and enforce the treaty.


The UK will continue to participate in the EU's flagship €80bn Horizon Europe programme as a paying associate member for seven years. It will also continue in Copernicus and Euratom.


The UK is out of the university exchange programme, baulking at the EU's insistence that to be an associate member it would have to commit to a seven-year payment plan.

The Irish government on Thursday confirmed students in Northern Ireland can continue to access Eramus as part of its promise to make sure Irish citizens in the region "will never be left behind" their fellow citizens south of the border. Citizens in Northern Ireland can also avail of a scheme to replace the European health insurance card (EHIC) funded by the Irish government.

Security and law enforcement

Cross-border police investigations and law enforcement can continue, with agreements that the UK can remain in key exchange programmes but not all.

The UK will no longer be part of the European Arrest Warrant system.

Nor will the UK be a full member of Europol or Eurojust. There will be "continued cooperation between the UK, Europol and Eurojust" with "strong cooperation between national police and judicial authorities".

The UK will maintain a "mechanism for access" to the Schengen Information System (SIS II), an automated database that shares police alerts on stolen goods and missing persons.

There has also been an agreement for continued joint use of the Passenger Name Records, which provides live data on the movement of air and ferry passengers, a key tool in the fight against terrorism and the Prüm database of fingerprints, DNA and car number plates of suspects.

TV Services

France successfully kept the audio visual sector out of the deal in a major blow to the UK, which is home to around 1,400 broadcasters, about 30% of all channels in the EU.

Britain's thriving TV and video-on-demand service providers will no longer be able to offer pan European services to European viewers unless they relocate part of their business to an EU member state.

Travel into the EU for paid work

Staff seconded to the EU on business can stay for up to three years if they are managers and specialists and up to one year for trainee employees. Those on short-term business will need a work permit and may stay for a period of up to 90 days in any 12-month period.

Experts have warned that British business travellers and posted workers – those that stay in the EU to work for a limited period of time – face fines unless they get advance authorisation once the UK leaves the single market.

Under the deal, reciprocal arrangements have been made "to facilitate short-term business trips and temporary secondments of highly-skilled employees".


Aviation and haulage will continue as before with passenger and cargo planes still able to fly and land in the EU including stopover flights from Heathrow and elsewhere in the UK that originated from outside the UK. Hauliers will also be allowed to continue to drive without special permits allocated in limited numbers to countries outside the EU. This comes as a relief to the logistics industry which feared drivers being locked out in significant numbers.

The deal hinged on the UK remaining a member of the European Common Aviation Area.

However planes will continue to fly in a temporary deal, which will have to be renegotiated urgently.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Johnnie F.

Still very long from over, and extremely far from what the hard-line brexiteers expected. Let's wait for BJ to get this through parliament.  ;)

Johnnie F.

Shown by Zeit online how British media see "the deal":

Brexit deal: "Better than nothing"

Shortly after agreement was reached on a Brexit trade pact, many British newspapers are expressing relief. However, they say the deal is only a minimum. The press opinions:

The official negotiations may be over, but the dispute over Britain's dealings with the EU is likely to remain, says The Times.

Following Thursday's agreement on a Brexit trade pact, many British newspapers are breathing a sigh of relief. Almost all of them comment: The deal is better than nothing. At the same time, they warn against too much optimism.

The Independent finds that the relief that an agreement has finally been reached should not "obscure this moment of national self-harm." For Britain and the rest of Europe, the abandonment of the unlimited freedom of the past half century to work, study and trade in each other's parts is "sad." The sense of relief, he said, is very real and welcome, "but only in the sense that you stop banging your head against the wall."

British newspaper The Times writes, "Just because Brexit is complete doesn't mean it's over." Britain will enter into a new, limited relationship with a market it once helped build, it said. What that will look like in concrete terms is unclear, he said. Political divisions will also remain, he said. "People will continue to argue about whether it's a loss to no longer be part of the club or whether it's a gain to no longer be involved in EU affairs." Moreover, he said, Brexit has produced a cultural divide.

The Guardian calls the new arrangement worse than the one they had as an EU member state. "The UK has ejected itself from the EU because sovereignty is what really matters in Brexitland, not trade," commented Martin Kettle. It is an uncomfortable and ironic truth, he said, that all trade deals, this one included, involve surrendering one's sovereignty for mutual benefit. That, he said, is the essence of deals. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, aptly described it, she said, when she defined sovereignty in the 21st century in a speech: "It means combining our strengths and speaking with one voice in a world dominated by great powers." This deal, she said, was no different, the fact merely brushed aside in Thursday's "immediate media frenzy." But when the dust settles and parliamentarians return to Westminster, they will see just that: "that Britain has to give up sovereignty to be able to trade on good terms with the biggest and and closest market."

"The bare minimum"

The Financial Times makes a similar argument. It says the deal is "far from what a global trade agreement should be." Rather, it is "the bare minimum" that could be agreed amid the government's "ideological intransigence." Traders may be spared tariffs and quotas, but they would face extra red tape when it comes to exports to the EU. "The price of British sovereignty is essentially the first deal made only to restrict access."

For the Economist, the deal is even "the hardest Brexit" next to a no-deal scenario. He said it mainly regulates goods transport, but hardly any services, which after all account for 80 percent of the British economy and represent the fastest-growing sector for global exports. It still lacks rules for financial services, data transfer, and recognition of many service qualifications. The Economist further complains that the deal lacks agreements on foreign policy cooperation, restricts access to security databases and the Europol system, and more.

Provisional application instead of ratification

The EU and the United Kingdom agreed on a trade pact on Thursday after months of wrangling. On the EU side, however, the treaty can no longer be ratified in time for the official EU exit at the turn of the year, but can only be applied provisionally. In order to make the necessary preparations, the German Council Presidency therefore convened a meeting of EU ambassadors for this Friday. On the British side, the government has announced that it will refer the matter to Parliament on December 30.

From the British government's perspective, the agreement achieves everything the British public wanted with the 2016 Brexit referendum. "We have regained control of our money, our borders, our laws, our trade and our fishing grounds," it said in a statement. At the same time, it said, the agreement grants duty-free access and unlimited exports to the EU. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen called the agreement fair and balanced. Chancellor Angela Merkel had praised the agreement as historic.

Johnnie F.

QuoteBoris Johnson said the UK had "freedom in our hands" and the ability to do things "differently and better" now the long Brexit process was over.


UK ministers have warned there will be some disruption in the coming days and weeks, as new rules bed in and British firms trading with the continent come to terms with the changes.

Good luck!

Johnnie F.

Ten days after the Brexit:

Belfast: empty shelves in a »Marks & Spencer's« in Lisburn Road Photo: Liam Mcburney / dpa

Johnnie F.

Now what? Did the White Cliffs of Dover make their own decision about Brexit?

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