EU member states begin process to approve Brexit trade deal

EU member states begin process to approve Brexit trade deal

UK publishes text of historic agreement as European ambassadors seek to give their assent by January 1

Details of the historic free trade agreement between the UK and EU have been published in full, as EU ambassadors began the process of assessing and approving the terms of the deal before the end of the year.

The landmark trade deal, which was announced by UK prime minister Boris Johnson and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on Thursday, will come into provisional force on January 1, and will be the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth around £660bn. 

The deal, which followed nine months of tense negotiations, will guarantee tariff-free trade on most goods and create a platform for future co-operation on issues such as crime-fighting, energy and data sharing. However concerns are emerging surrounding the support for UK businesses, which will have to transition to the new trading arrangement from next week.