Zero-tariffs and no quota restrictions are certainly good news for traders and consumers, but the agreement is far from being a comprehensive free trade deal the EU has struck with other countries. Many other businesses are now facing a cliff-edge Brexit on 1 January, like the vital UK services industry.
Four and a half years after the Brexit referendum we have a trade deal for goods only as there was simply not enough time to agree much else. This can only be the first version of a UK/EU trade deal and the UK Government must continue negotiating with the EU to include other business sectors in the years to come, to allow for greater market access to the EU.
The UK Government must now show flexibility and announce an implementation phase for this trade deal to help UK businesses adjusting to the new trade rules with the EU.
A phonebook-style legal text with 2,000 pages presented to the business community on Christmas Eve is too late to be fully implemented in seven days’ time. The UK Government must now show flexibility and allow for various easement measures in the months to come so that businesses can cope and recover from the economic crisis we are facing.