A last-minute post-Brexit trade deal will enable Britain to have a “special relationship” with the EU, British Cabinet Minister Michael Gove says, a term traditionally used to describe close ties with the US.
The agreement now makes it possible to leave the difficult and “ugly” Brexit process behind and embark on a new, more hopeful era, Gove wrote in The Times published on Saturday.
Nevertheless, a number of things will change from January and companies will have to adjust, he said.
On Thursday, which was Christmas Eve, London and Brussels announced a breakthrough in talks on a joint trade pact for the time after the post-Brexit transition period ends.
At the turn of the year, Britain finally leaves the structures of the European Union after almost 40 years of membership, thus averting the worst consequences of the divorce.
The 1256-page agreement is now available online.
It will initially come into force provisionally, as the time for ratification on the European side is too short. The British parliament is due to vote on the deal on December 30.
Among those reading the document closely on Saturday were eurosceptic MPs in Britain’s ruling Conservatives.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Tory party members the “devil is in the detail” but insisted it would stand up to inspection from the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers.
Members of the ERG group were analysing the document and assembled a panel of lawyers led by eurosceptic MP Bill Cash to review the deal.
There was criticism of the agreement, however, particularly from those in the fishing industry.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the industry had been “sold out” over the agreement, which includes a transition period allowing British and EU fishing vessels access to each other’s waters for another five years.
“The Tories have sold out Scottish fishing all over again,” Sturgeon said, PA reported.
“Promises they knew couldn’t be delivered, duly broken.”
Officials from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations also said Johnson had only secured a fraction of what Britain had a right to under international law.