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UK-EU Trade Agreement

UK-Gibraltar-Spain agreement: December 2020

The recently agreed UK-EU Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU does not include Gibraltar.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Hon Fabian R Picardo QC MP, made a statement regarding the future relationship with the EU “The New Year’s Eve ‘In-Principle’ Agreement: A Post Brexit Deal for Gibraltar 31 December, 2020

My dear fellow Gibraltarians,

This New Year’s Eve, we can look forward with expectation and hope. We believe we may now be able to re-set our relationship with Spain and cast it in a more positive light going forward. After many months of hard work, we have reached an in principle agreement with the United Kingdom and Spain.

The agreement is for a proposed framework for a UK/European Union Agreement or Treaty on Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU. That agreement will govern the relationship between Gibraltar and the European Union in areas of EU competence. The British Ambassador in the UK Mission to the European Union has written to the President of the European Commission confirming the UK’s desire that such an agreement be negotiated and that the EU should seek a mandate for that purpose. Spain has confirmed that it has also now contacted the European Commission for that purpose.

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UK-EU Trade Agreement

PM signs UK-EU Trade Agreement

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, signs the recently agreed Trade Agreement between the UK and the EU.

In a statement (on twitter) he said:

By signing this deal, we fulfill the sovereign wish of the British people to live under their own laws, made by their own elected Parliament.

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UK-EU Trade Agreement

PM’s statement to the House of Commons on the UK-EU deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke in the House of Commons on the deal agreed with the European Union, on 30 December 2020.

Transcript (from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-opening-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-the-uk-eu-deal-30-december-2020 )

Thank you Mr Speaker, can I begin by thanking you and the House authorities and all your staff and their hard work in allowing us to meet today, and can I also welcome the outstanding news that AstraZeneca is now rolling out a new UK made vaccine approved by the MHRA that offers the hope to millions in this country and around the world, Mr Speaker I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time,

and having taken back control of our money, our borders, our laws and our waters by leaving the European Union on Jan 31st, we now seize the moment to forge a fantastic new relationship with our European neighbours, based on free trade and friendly co-operation.

And at the heart of this Bill is one of the biggest free trade agreements in the world, a comprehensive Canada-style deal, worth over £660 billion, which, if anything, should allow our companies to do even more business with our European friends, safeguarding millions of jobs and livelihoods in our UK and across the continent.

In less than 48 hours, we will leave the EU single market and the customs union, as we promised and yet British exporters will not face a sudden thicket of trade barriers, but rather, for the first time in the history of EU agreements, zero tariffs and zero quotas.

And just as we have avoided trade barriers, so we have also ensured the UK’s full control of our laws and our regulations and there is a vital symmetry between those two achievements, because the central purpose of this Bill is to accomplish something that the British people always knew in their hearts could be done, but which we were continually told was impossible, we were told we could not have our cake and eat it, do you remember how often we were told that Mr Speaker, namely that we could trade and cooperate with our European neighbours on the closest terms of friendship and goodwill, whilst retaining sovereign control of our laws and our national destiny.

And that unifying thread runs through every clause of this Bill, it embodies our vision – shared with our European neighbours – of a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals, joined by friendship, commerce, history, interests and values, while respecting one another’s freedom of action and recognising that we have nothing to fear if we sometimes choose to do things differently and we have much to gain from the healthy stimulus of competition. And this Bill demonstrates therefore how Britain can be at once European and sovereign.

And I think you’ll agree Mr Speaker our negotiators accomplished their feat with astonishing speed. It took nearly 8 years for the Uruguay Round of world trade talks to produce a deal, and five years for the EU to reach a trade agreement with Canada, six for Japan.

We have done this in less than a year, in the teeth of a pandemic, and we have pressed ahead with this task, resisting all the calls for delay, Mr Speaker precisely because creating certainty about our future provides the best chance of beating Covid and bouncing back even more strongly next year. And that was our objective.

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Trade Negotiations

Prime Minister’s statement on EU negotiations: 24 December 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement after news that the UK have reached a Trade Agreement with the EU.

Here’s the transcript of the statement:

It is four and a half years since the British people voted to take back control of their money, their borders, their laws, and their waters and to leave the European Union.

And earlier this year we fulfilled that promise and we left on Jan 31 with that oven-ready deal.

Since that time we have been getting on with our agenda.

Enacting the points based immigration system that you voted for and that will come into force on Jan 1.

And doing free trade deals with 58 countries around the world.

And preparing the new relationship with the EU.

And there have been plenty of people who have told us that the challenges of the Covid pandemic have made this work impossible.

And that we should extend the transition period.

And incur yet more delay.

And I rejected that approach precisely because beating Covid is our number one national priority and I wanted to end any extra uncertainty and to give this country the best possible chance of bouncing back strongly next year.

And so I am very pleased that this afternoon that we have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth £660 billion.

A comprehensive Canada style free trade deal between the UK and the EU, a deal that will protect jobs across this country.

A deal that will allow UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without quotas in the EU market.

A deal which will if anything should allow our companies and our exporters to do even more business with our European friends.

And yet which achieves something that the people of this country instinctively knew was doable.

But which they were told was impossible.

We have taken back control of laws and our destiny.

We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation.

In a way that is complete and unfettered.

From Jan 1 we are outside the customs union, and outside the single market.

British laws will be made solely by the British Parliament.

Interpreted by UK judges sitting in UK courts.

And the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end.

We will be able to set our own standards, to innovate in the way that we want, to originate new frameworks for the sectors in which this country leads the world, from biosciences to financial services, artificial intelligence and beyond.

We will be able to decide how and where we are going to stimulate new jobs and new hope.

With freeports and new green industrial zones.

We will be able to cherish our landscape and our environment in the way we choose.

Backing our farmers and backing British food and agricultural production.

And for the first time since 1973 we will be an independent coastal state with full control of our waters with the UK’s share of fish in our waters rising substantially from roughly half today to closer to 2/3 in five and a half years’ time after which there is no theoretical limit beyond those placed by science or conservation on the quantity of our own fish that we can fish in our waters.

And to get ready for that moment those fishing communities we will be helped with a big £100m programme to modernise their fleets and the fish processing industry.

And I want to stress that although of course the arguments with our European friends and partners were sometimes fierce this is, I believe a good deal for the whole of Europe and for our friends and partners as well.

Because it will not be a bad thing for the EU to have a prosperous and dynamic and contented UK on your doorstep.

And it will be a good thing – it will drive jobs and prosperity across the whole continent.

And I don’t think it will be a bad thing if we in the UK do things differently, or a take a different approach to legislation.

Because in so many ways our basic goals are the same.

And in the context of this giant free trade zone that we’re jointly creating the stimulus of regulatory competition will I think benefit us both.

And if one side believes it is somehow being unfairly undercut by the other, then subject to independent third party arbitration and provided the measures are proportionate, we can either of us decide – as sovereign equals – to protect our consumers.

But this treaty explicitly envisages that such action should only happen infrequently and the concepts of uniformity and harmonisation are banished in favour of mutual respect and mutual recognition and free trade.

And for squaring that circle, for finding the philosopher’s stone that’s enabled us to do this I want to thank President von der Leyen of the European Commission and our brilliant negotiators led by Lord Frost and Michel Barnier, on the EU side Stephanie Rousseau as well as Oliver Lewis, Tim Barrow, Lindsay Appleby and many others.

Their work will be available for scrutiny, followed by a parliamentary vote I hope on Dec 30.

This agreement, this deal above all means certainty.

It means certainty for the aviation industry and the hauliers who have suffered so much in the Covid pandemic.

It means certainty for the police and the border forces and the security services and all those that we rely on across Europe to keep us safe.

It means certainty for our scientists who will be able to continue to work together on great collective projects.

Because although we want the UK to be a science superpower, we also want to be a collaborative science superpower.

And above all it means certainty for business from financial services to our world-leading manufacturers – our car industry – certainty for those working in high skilled jobs in firms and factories across the whole country.

Because there will be no palisade of tariffs on Jan 1.

And there will be no non-tariff barriers to trade.

And instead there will be a giant free trade zone of which we will at once be a member.

And at the same time be able to do our own free trade deals as one UK, whole and entire, England, NI, Scotland and Wales together.

And I should stress this deal was done by a huge negotiating team from every part of the UK, and it will benefit every part of our United Kingdom, helping to unite and level up across the country.

And so I say again directly to our EU friends and partners, I think this deal means a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a fractious and difficult relationship.

We will be your friend, your ally, your supporter and indeed – never let it be forgotten – your number one market.

Because although we have left the EU this country will remain culturally, emotionally, historically, strategically and geologically attached to Europe, not least through the four million EU nationals who have requested to settle in the UK over the last four years and who make an enormous contribution to our country and to our lives.

And I say to all of you at home.

At the end of this toughest of years.

That our focus in the weeks ahead is of course on defeating the pandemic.

And on beating coronavirus and rebuilding our economy.

And delivering jobs across the country.

And I am utterly confident that we can and will do it.

By today we have vaccinated almost 800,000 people and we have also today resolved a question that has bedevilled our politics for decades.

And it is up to us all together.

As a newly and truly independent nation.

To realise the immensity of this moment and to make the most of it.

Happy Christmas to you all.

That’s the good news from Brussels – now for the sprouts.

Prime Minister’s statement on EU negotiations: 24 December 2020

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Trade Talks

PM statement on negotiations with the EU: 16 October 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on negotiations with the EU. (16 October 2020)

Good morning,

We left the EU on January 31 and delivered on the largest democratic mandate in the history of this country.

And since then we have been in a transition period obeying EU law, paying our fees – as a non-voting member – working on the future relationship we hope to enjoy with our friends and partners from January.

And from the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade.

To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels that won’t work for our EU partners. They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country.

And since we have only ten weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1, I have to make a judgement about the likely outcome and to get us all ready.

And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.

And we can do it, because we always knew that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had.

And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready.

And of course we are willing to discuss the practicalities with our friends where a lot of progress has already been made, by the way, on such issues as social security, and aviation, nuclear cooperation and so on.

But for whatever reason it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership they are not willing – unless there is some fundamental change of approach – to offer this country the same terms as Canada.

And so with high hearts and complete confidence we will prepare to embrace the alternative.

And we will prosper mightily as an independent free trading nation, controlling our own borders, our fisheries, and setting our own laws.

And in the meantime the government will be focusing on tackling COVID and building back better so that 2021 is a year of recovery and renewal.

Thank you very much.