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Brexit deal all done besides checking the small print, negotiators brief

23 Dec 2020 2 minute read
A Wales and Europe flag at a People’s Vote march. Picture by Ilovetheeu (CC 4.0)

UK and European Union negotiators are checking the small print of the wording of a Brexit deal which is expected to be announced in the next 24 hours.

Reuters quoted an unnamed EU diplomat as saying a deal was “pretty much there. It’s a matter of announcing it today or tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen still need to rubber-stamp the final version before Christmas.

A meeting of EU ambassadors has been pencilled in for Christmas Eve to start the ratification process.

Talks have stumbled over the issues of what access EU boats will have to British fishing waters, and what rights the EU will have to impose retaliatory tariffs should the U.K. limit that access in the future.

If an agreement is struck, the EU Commission will publish the draft unofficial text and send it to member states and the European Parliament.

The Welsh Government have raised numerous concerns about the preparations for Brexit if the transition period ends on 31 December, including whether facilities will be ready at Welsh ports in Holyhead and Fishguard.

Other concerns include how the UK Government will replace EU funding.

Jeremy Miles, the Welsh government’s Brexit minister, said last month: “The lack of transparency and collaboration that the UK government has shown to date must now end, so that Wales gets the clarity it needs and the commitment to work through the Welsh government, which the devolution settlement demands.”

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