Britain and the European Union have reached a trade agreement after months of tense negotiations, the British government said in a statement Thursday. This breakout prevents a dangerous “rejecting the deal” scenario that would cause economic chaos and could seriously disrupt the flow of goods and drugs.
"The deal has been made," Downing Street said in a statement. “Everything that was promised to the British public during the 2016 referendum and last year's general election has been fulfilled by this deal.”
The deal is unlikely to be formally ratified before New Years given that it still has to go through a series of legal steps.
EU leaders, the European Parliament and the UK government will have to ratify the agreements reached.
The legal text of the agreement will first be translated, reviewed and approved by all 27 EU member states.
After all member states sign the agreement, it will return to the European Parliament, where members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will vote to ratify the deal.
But the European Parliament said it was too late to hold an emergency vote before the end of the transition period on December 31st.
Instead, they plan to apply the EU-UK agreement "temporarily", with MEPs officially meeting to ratify the agreement in January.
Although the details of the trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval, UK lawmakers are expected to return after Christmas to discuss and approve them.