Brexit: Agreement signed today in Brussels and London applied as early as Friday

Also today, the agreement will be debated and voted on in the British parliament

The post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) will be signed today, December 30, in Brussels and London, in time to enter into force on Friday, with a provisional nature.

After the agreement reached by European and British negotiators on 24 December, the compromise has already received the endorsement of the 27 EU Member States with a view to its entry into force on 1 January, and is signed this morning in Brussels by the presidents of the Commission European Ursula von der Leyen, and the European Council Charles Michel.

The formal signing takes place after the ambassadors of the 27 Member States to the EU unanimously approved on Monday the provisional application of the new agreement between the European bloc and the United Kingdom from 1 January, decision 'confirmed ' by the Council on Tuesday through a written procedure.

Also today, the agreement will be debated and voted on in the British Parliament, in time for the legislation necessary for its ratification to enter into force on Friday, with the formal signing of the document by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. .

Both Houses of Parliament were convened, with the Commons starting at 9 am and the Lords starting at midday, to pass legislation implementing the UK agreement in a single day.

House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle wrote to MPs, urging them to avoid traveling to Parliament due to restrictions in many parts of the country linked to the covid-19 pandemic and the prevalence of the disease in London.

Social distancing measures limit the presence to only 50 people inside the plenary at the same time, including the president and administrative officials, leaving space in the benches for only about 35 deputies, including ministers.

The debate will therefore be open to interventions by videoconference and voting done remotely.

The Bill on Future Relationship should be approved without difficulties, taking into account the absolute majority of the Conservative Party and the support of the Labor Party, the main opposition party.

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), Liberal Democrats, and Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party have indicated they would vote against the Accord, but will be insufficient to decide an outcome, even with the help of some ultra-Eurosceptic Conservative or pro-European Labor MPs who choose to challenge the guidance of their respective leaders.

Despite some internal dispute, Labor leader Keir Starmer argued that the choice between a “weak agreement” or the absence of agreement is at stake, so he refused to vote against or even abstain.

"But let me be absolutely clear - and I say this directly to the Government -, between choosing the absence of an agreement, we accept this agreement, but the consequences of it will be yours," he said.

After 10 months of negotiations, the European Union and the United Kingdom finally reached a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 24 December to enter into force from 1 January just after the end of the post-Brexit transition period that has kept the British so far in the single market.

With this economic and trade partnership, the EU offers London quota and duty-free access to its market of 450 million consumers, but provides sanctions and compensatory measures in case of non-compliance with competition rules and state support for environmental companies, labor and tax.

The hard-won fisheries commitment provides for a transitional period until June 2026, during which Europeans will gradually abandon 25% of their catches in UK waters, after which fishing quotas will be negotiated annually.

As ratification with a view to its entry into force on 1 January is no longer technically feasible, the 27 agreed to apply the new agreement on a provisional basis until it is officially approved by the European Parliament at the latest by the end of February.