Brexit: EU and UK agree to fully implement Withdrawal Agreement
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Brexit: EU and UK agree to fully implement Withdrawal Agreement

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The UK and the EU will fully implement the Withdrawal Agreement, European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic and British Minister Michael Gove, chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee, announced on Tuesday.

Sefcovic and Gove found common ground on all the remaining problematic points regarding the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement that allowed the United Kingdom to leave the EU at the end of January.

A major point of contention was a controversial bill by the UK government, known as the Internal Market Bill, that would have partially deviated from the principles laid down in the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The UK’s refusal to change this bill even prompted the EU to send the UK a letter of formal notice and launch an infringement procedure against the country.

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Now, given agreements in principle on a number of issues such as the supply of medicines and the supply of food products to supermarkets among other topics, “the UK will withdraw clauses 44, 45 and 47 of the UK Internal Market Bill, and not introduce any similar provisions in the Taxation Bill.”

“This agreement in principle and the resulting draft texts will now be subject to respective internal procedures in the EU and in the UK,” the statement reads.

“Once this is done, a fifth regular meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee will be convened to formally adopt them. This will take place in the coming days and before the end of the year.”

The end of the year marks the end of a transition period after which the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union.

EU and UK negotiators have been working towards a post-Brexit trade agreement and continue to do so, though, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, a deal is “looking very, very difficult” as differences remain on several key issues.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times