Johnson Speaks with Von der Leyen; Brexit Agreement is Probably Imminent
After widespread agreement on key points of a Brexit trade pact, everything points to a deal on Christmas Eve. The experts on both sides had worked on the details right up to the end. The work will continue all night, wrote the EU Commission spokesman, Eric Mamer, on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
— Eric Mamer (@MamerEric2) December 21, 2020
A press conference is planned for early Thursday morning, the BBC reported. Prime Minister Boris Johnson informed his key ministers about the current status that night, the PA agency reported.
Without an agreement, there is a risk of tariffs
The comprehensive trade agreement is designed to avoid a severe economic break at the last minute. The Brexit transition phase will end on December 31, and Great Britain will leave the EU internal market and the customs union. Without an agreement, there is a risk of tariffs and trade barriers.
The biggest points of contention in the end were the EU demand for fair competition between the contracting parties – an agreement in principle was announced on Wednesday afternoon – and the access rights for EU fishermen to British waters. The contract was almost ready, it said early Thursday morning from EU circles.