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EU lawmaker doubts hitch-free trade after Brexit deal

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EU lawmaker doubts hitch-free trade after Brexit deal
Cross-channel trade between the European Union (EU) and Britain will not run as smoothly post-Brexit as it has until now, a leading EU lawmaker has warned.

“Trade between the EU and the United Kingdom will no longer run as smoothly as if both sides were a part of the internal market and the customs union,” David McAllister, who heads the EU parliament’s UK coordination group, told the conservative German daily Die Welt in remarks published Friday.

Despite the last-minute trade deal, McAllister expects “far-reaching consequences for people, companies and public administrations” after London leaves the internal market at the end of the year.

But the MEP was optimistic that the EU Parliament will approve the deal.

“We have a political responsibility to avoid an unregulated transition and to keep the negative consequences for citizens and businesses as low as possible,” McAllister explained.

Britain and the European Union reached a post-Brexit trade deal on Thursday, just days before London was set to free-fall out of the bloc’s single market on Jan. 1.

The breakthrough, which came after months of deadlock, allows both sides to swerve expensive tariffs.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson late on Thursday posted a video on Twitter with a Christmas reading recommendation – the post-Brexit trade deal agreed with Brussels.

Negotiators sealed a deal on Thursday with days to go until the end of the transition period allotted for trade talks was set to expire.

The full text of the deal – expected to be thousands of pages long – was not immediately released.

“By the way, tonight, on Christmas Eve, I have a small present for anyone who may be looking for something to read in that sleepy post-Christmas lunch moment – and here it is,” Johnson said, turning to retrieve a thick wad of papers from behind him.

“Glad tidings of great joy because this is a deal,” he said.

The previous deal last year that saw Britain officially leave the EU and kick off its transition period was “just the start,” he said.

“This is the feast – full of fish by the way,” he added. One of the key sticking points in the deal was on fishing quotas.

“I believe it will be the basis of a happy and successful and stable partnership with our friends in the EU for years to come,” he said as he punched the air with apparent enthusiasm.

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