After countless deadlines elapsing alongside hopes for agreement of a Brexit that maintains a relationship between the UK and EU, finally that agreement has been announced.
Just after 3pm this afternoon European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen live from Brussels announced: “We have finally found an agreement”.
Her opening statement showed significant relief underlined by saying: “It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it.” She added that it is a “fair” and “balanced” agreement, and it was “right and responsible” for the two sides to pursue it. Then adding: “Together we still achieve more than we do apart.”
The EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier then followed with a similar theme of relief and some sadness at the separation process being realised. His opening remark was: “The clock is no longer ticking.”
Barnier then added somewhat emotionally: “Today is a day of relief, but tinged by some sadness, as we compare what came before with what lies ahead.”
The press conference in Brussels was immediately followed by another live from Downing Street. The Prime Minister opened by saying that negotiations had delivered: “That oven ready deal”.
Johnson then started selling: “We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered.” He then made an unusual pledge to viewers saying: “I can assure great fish fanatics in this country that we will be able to catch and eat prodigious quantities of fish.”
Media questions then came, first up was the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg who seemed to have her question side stepped, followed by ITV’s Robert Peston who accused the PM of “mis-selling” through his emollient summary of the agreement.
Johnson immediately refuted Peston’s interpretation saying: “I respectfully disagree with you.” He then danced around the accusation spouting party lines trying to reinforce a persona only he truly identifies with.
The Financial Times, The Sun, The Telegraph and The Guardian all followed with further questions, and Johnson as always answered each telling them very little. He really doesn’t like detail.
Despite the stark contrast in statesmanship displayed by President Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson, a deal has been done, and that is infinitely preferable to no deal. So, well done to Boris Johnson and his team for delivering it.
For all hospitality businesses in the UK who trade directly and indirectly with the EU the avoidance of a no deal Brexit will come as a relief.
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Hospitality & Catering News: Brexit: “We have finally found an agreement” – 24 December 2020 – Brexit: “We have finally found an agreement”
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