The 27 EU ambassadors are convening in Brussels on Friday morning to start reviewing the new post-Brexit trade deal, a spokesperson for the German EU presidency said.
After a last-minute deal struck on Thursday, the ambassadors will now have to sift through thousands of pages to determine whether their countries can accept the terms and conditions.
“EU member states will now start reviewing the 1,246 pages of the EU-UK agreement and continue with this daunting exercise during the next few days,” EU Council presidency spokesman Sebastian Fischer said.
The chief negotiator for the European Union, Michel Barnier, will brief the ambassadors on the negotiations, he said.
The agreement still needs to be ratified both in the EU and Britain. London has recalled its parliament for December 30. A rejection is unlikely given the stakes and time pressure all sides are under before a post-Brexit transition period runs out on December 31.
The European Parliament will also still have to give the green light, but this is likely to only happen in the new year, making it likely that the trade agreement will be applied provisionally at first. The agreement allows for the free flow of goods with zero tariffs and zero quotas, but also sets out different areas of cooperation such as security and justice, and rules for a host of issues such as data protection.
25 Dec, 2020