Christmas has come a day early in cross-channel relations. Politico.eu reports the European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a “Brexit deal” a few days before the end of the transition period.
The trade deal must now be approved by each of the 27 EU member countries, the European Parliament and the U.K. parliament. Given time is so tight, the EU is expected to let the agreement come into force provisionally on January 1, with the European Parliament then giving its approval retroactively early next year.
It was relatively clear neither side totally loved the agreement, which suggests it may represent a decent compromise. It is a long document with many appendices, a succinct statement of its actual implications - what will change - is not available at this time.
I suppose it is possible one of the EU members may not approve it, the U.K. is almost certain to do so. We will revisit the historic agreement when considered opinion of its true implications settles out into quotable form.
One thing is certain. If the post-Brexit U.K. is considered a success, leaving the EU becomes in the minds of disgruntled Europeans a doable thing. For nations like Poland and Hungary, leaving will then be at least a consideration, and/or a credible threat in intra-EU negotiations.