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Business Secretary Alok Sharma is confident UK firms will be able to flourish with the increased clarity and certainty that has been added by the Brexit trade deal with Brussels, that is set to come into effect on January 1. Britain left the European Union on January 31, 2020 after Boris Johnson delivered on his Conservative Party manifesto in the general election to “Get Brexit Done”. The UK entered a transition period with the EU in order for a trade deal to be thrashed out by December 31 but was still bound by the bloc’s rules on the Customs Union and Single Market.
Writing in , Mr Sharma said the “first-ever zero tariff, zero quota free trade agreement with the EU means we no longer have to put up with EU rules and red tape – we have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and fisheries”.
He called it a “truly historic moment for the whole country”, insisting the Prime Minister’s deal delivers on promises made to Britain in the lead up to the 2016 referendum.
The Business Secretary beamed the UK is “no longer in the lunar pull of Brussels, following every rule and regulation they set day in and day out,” insisting British businesses of all sizes “will have the very best of both worlds”.
Mr Sharma wrote in the newspaper: “We’ve done it. After years of wrangling, the UK has secured a trade deal with the EU that many thought was impossible.
Brexit news: Alok Sharma said the trade deal with the EU presents business oppoortunities for the UK
Brexit news: The Business Secretary described the trade deal as a ‘truly historic moment for the whole country’
“The first-ever zero tariff, zero quota free trade agreement with the EU means we no longer have to put up with EU rules and red tape – we have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and fisheries.
“This is a truly historic moment for the whole country and the Prime Minister’s deal delivers everything that was promised to the British people during the 2016 referendum.
“We are no longer in the lunar pull of Brussels, following every rule and regulation they set day in and day out. Instead, the UK and our European friends can work together and focus on free and fair trade as sovereign equals.
“As an independent trading nation once more, British companies, large and small, will have the very best of both worlds. Our fantastic businesses can both trade with the continent with confidence as before, and take full advantage of a wave of new opportunities as we strike trade deals with old friends and new allies across the globe.”
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Mr Sharma also said the fishing element of the deal, which had long been the issue holding up negotiations between the UK and EU, is another great “catch of the day”.
He insisted the trade deal with the EU will provide UK investors and service suppliers with the “clarity and certainty they need to sell into the EU, while supporting our innovators and job creators as they travel across the EU banging the drum for British business”.
The Business Secretary concluded: “Another great ‘catch of the day’ is being able to restore great British industries like fishing. For the first time in decades, this deal recognises UK sovereignty over our own fishing waters, so we can rebuild our fleets and rejuvenate our coastal towns and villages.
“But it’s not just a great deal for goods, but services too – which make up 80 per cent of our economy.
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Brexit news: Alok Sharma said the trade deal will see businesses thrive
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“This deal will provide UK investors and service suppliers with the clarity and certainty they need to sell into the EU, while supporting our innovators and job creators as they travel across the EU banging the drum for British business.
“2020 has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years in living memory.
“But I hope that businesses and people right across the UK now have some certainty about what the New Year will bring for our great nation. We’ve got Brexit done and have managed to deliver a great deal for the entire country.
“A deal which will see the United Kingdom thrive outside the EU and cement its place as the best place in the world to start, grow and run a business.”
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The Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU will be put before the House of Commons on Wednesday, as both sides race to have the treaty ratified in time for the end of the transition period on Thursday.
The SNP, DUP, Plaid Cymru and a handful of Labour MPs have all said they will vote against the trade agreement.
But regardless, the deal is likely to pass through the House of Commons, thanks largely to the huge majority the Tories currently hold in the chamber, as well as the support gained earlier on Tuesday by the Brexit-backing European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs.