The United Kingdom’s new trade deal with the European Union was granted royal assent early on Thursday, becoming law hours before the Brexit transition period ended. The bill is taking effect on the New Year’s Day.
EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel first signed on the deal in Brussels earlier on Wednesday and then the document rushed to London for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s signature.
When opening the debate in the parliament, Johnson said the UK will “open a new chapter in our national story” with the deal, adding “a new relationship” between Britain and the EU is ahead.
Discussion on UK, EU post-Brexit trade talk:
The House of Commons voted 521-73 to back the agreement on the same day and hours later the House of Lords also greenlighted it.
According to the British Broadcasting Company, Queen Elizabeth II approved the EU (future relationship) Bill early on Thursday morning.
The agreement establishes zero tariffs or quotas on trade between the UK and the EU. According to an explainer published on the UK government official website, it is the first time that the EU has reached a zero tariff and zero quota deal with any of its trade partners.
The EU will also reduce its fish catch in UK waters by 25% in five years and a half, which was deemed as a big compromise by the UK media as the previous quota proposed by the UK was 80%.
As for dispute resolution, the Court of Justice of the European Union will not be able to intervene, and frictions between the two sides can be subject to an independent party for arbitration.