‘Relieved’ Barnier outlines four key pillars of Brexit deal as EU-UK negotiations end

Brexit: Michel Barnier outlines ‘four pillars’ of deal

Brexit negotiations entered the final stages on December 23 as the negotiations sought to reach a final agreement on the future relationship the UK will have with the EU before Christmas. Michel Barnier admitted to feeling “relief” at seeing the negotiations concluded as he welcomed the opportunity of securing an agreement with London. Mr Barnier said the new relationship will be based on “four pillars”, including

The Frenchman insisted the new agreement “does not reproduce” the agreement the UK benefitted from while a member of the bloc but helped to establish a strong partnership for the future.

Addressing the press after the deal was struck, Mr Barnier said: “We have also built a new partnership for the future around four pillars.

“Firstly, a free trade agreement, an ambitious and fair one, without tariffs or quotas. And at the heart of this agreement will be new economic rules, the level-playing field as we call which for the European Union will be the start of a new generation of free trade agreements.

“Secondly, an economic and social partnership whose scope will be unprecedented. It will cover aviation, road transport, energy, combating climate change, fisheries – where we have achieved reciprocal access to waters and to resources, and with a new distribution of fishing quotas and opportunities which has been directly agreed between Ursula von Der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson.”

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On fisheries, which emerged as one of the most contested issues in the talks, the EU negotiator added: “We’ve have taken into account Britain’s new status as an independent coastal state, a state that will no longer be part of the Common Fisheries Policy in a few days.

“This agreement will require efforts, the European Union will support its fishermen and women.”

Mr Barnier continued: “The third pillar of our agreement concerns the security of our citizens and we’ve also said that our security and that of our citizens is not up for grabs.

“Combating terrorism and crime requires cooperation between the European Union and this great country, the United Kingdom. We will continue to work together in eight main fields.”

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Mr Barnier was joined to welcome the deal by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who also hailed the agreement as “fair and balanced.”

President von der Leyen said: “We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it.

“It is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides.”

She added: “First of all, competition in our single market will be fair and remain so. The EU rules and standards will be respected. We have effective tools to react if fair competition is distorted and impacts our trade.

“Secondly, we will continue cooperating with the UK in all areas of mutual interest, for example in the field of climate change, energy, security and transport. Together, we still achieve more than we do apart.”

Boris Johnson claimed victory after securing what he called the “the biggest trade deal yet” with the European Union on Thursday, saying Britain had taken back control of its laws, borders, and fishing waters.

“So I’m very pleased to tell you this afternoon that we have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth 660 billion pounds a year, a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal between the UK and the EU,” he told a news conference.

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