Four and a half years after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, the two negotiating sides have finally arrived at a Brexit deal.
The agreement will allow for tariff and quota-free trade in goods and services across a range of areas. Crucial for film and TV production is the ease of movement of people and equipment, details of which are expected.
The broad structure of the deal was agreed on Wednesday and negotiations carried on all night through to Thursday, Christmas Eve. The discussions were led by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The negotiations saw brinksmanship on both sides with matters seeming to have reached an impasse on more than one occasion, meaning that the U.K would have left with no deal, a scenario that would have been severely damaging to economies on both sides.
The final sticking point was the question of fisheries, with the U.K. treating it as a sovereignty issue and making it a major factor in discussions. It was a major plank of the Leave campaign in 2016. The EU catches approximately $790 million worth of fish in the hitherto shared waters annually and the U.K. $1.1 billion. Though this is a mere fraction of the $624 billion worth of goods traded annually between the EU and the U.K., the sovereignty issue made it a flashpoint.
Johnson’s stance was that the EU’s share of fishing in U.K. waters drop by 80% in three years and he finally agreed to a fall of 25% over three and a half years.
The deal will be fully done when it is approved by the U.K. parliament before the end of the year and a provisional approval by governments of the 27 EU states prior to a ratification by their respective parliaments in the new year.
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