“The deal is done” (“The deal has been concluded”)Boris Johnson tweeted Thursday 24, hours before Christmas Eve. After final negotiations, the United Kingdom and the European Union finalized the post-Brexit trade agreement that they had been negotiating for ten months.
This agreement puts an end to a saga that seemed endless since the referendum of June 23, 2016 by which the British decided to leave the European Union. After various ups and downs, a withdrawal agreement was finally signed in October 2019 between European and British negotiators. The UK’s effective exit from the EU took place on January 31.
The terms of a new relationship still had to be established. It’s now done. To the satisfaction of both parties who have thus avoided the scenario of a no-deal which would have been devastating, both economically and politically for all the partners, if no agreement had been found before December 31, expected date for the UK’s exit from the single market.
With this agreement, the page of Brexit turns, even if we can imagine that the 2000 pages of the text, do not settle all the details. And in many areas, existing cooperation will continue and others will be forged within the new framework. The UK may be an island, but it cannot live in isolation from the rest of the world. It also needs European partners, if only in the fields of economics or research.
The European Union was therefore in a strong position in the negotiations. But if she has not given in to all of Boris Johnson’s demands, it is also and above all because she has shown herself to be united and firm. A lesson from Europe that member states would do well to learn.