U.K. Braces for Rough Post-Brexit
CBJ – Just days after finalizing a free trade agreement with the European Union on Christmas Eve, the British government sent out an ominous warning to businesses that there could be disruptions and tough times as the kinks get ironed out.
EU ambassadors gave their unanimous approval the Brexit comprehensive trade deal with the U.K.
Final official ratification requires approval from the EU’s legislature, which is essentially a formality and is expected in February. The British House approval vote came December 29.
The U.K. departed the EU almost a year ago, but remained within the bloc’s economic infrastructure during a transition period that ends at midnight Brussels time on December 31.
The agreement will ensure Britain and the 27-nation bloc can continue to trade in goods without tariffs or quotas. That should help protect the $900 billion in annual trade between the two sides, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that rely on it.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government argues that any short-term disruption from Brexit will be worth it, because the U.K. will now be free to set its own rules and strike new trade deals around the world.
Despite the deal, uncertainty hangs over huge chunks of the relationship between Britain and the EU. The agreement covers trade in goods, but leaves the U.K.’s huge financial services sector in limbo, still uncertain how easily it can do business with the bloc after January 1.