The Brexit trade agreement could be a ‘time for our country’, said Rishi Sunak.
The chancellor says anyone concerned about a holiday with Brussels should be reassured because the agreement is complete.
The Brexit trade agreement reached on Christmas Eve could be “a time of great unification for our country”, the chancellor said.
Rishi Sunak said he hoped it would “unite people after the split a few years ago”.
Anyone concerned about the economic consequences of the holiday with Brussels should be “fully assured of the full status” of the agreement, he added.
The agreement provides that assurance, he said, because it provides a “stable framework for corporate governance”.
The chancellor said the UK “will continue to access free access to European markets” while being able to “take advantage of new opportunities”.
Political journalist at Sky News Joe Pike said the chancellor was “in a state of certainty” but the only unity for those in the fishing industry was frustration with the details of the agreement.
EU fishing vessels will have access to UK waters reduced by 25%. But it will happen gradually – in a transition period of five and a half years. Thereafter, estimates will be determined by annual negotiations.
There are allegations that the agreement is “sad” and that the government “entered” and “overturned”, Pike said.
But the fact that both major parties are supporting the next step in the Brexit journey, means a victory for the prime minister in Parliament.
Shadel Chancellor Anneliese Dodds told Sky News that while the outcome of the agreement was reached, there was still a lot of concern among businesses.
“There will be people who are struggling to understand what this agreement means to them – this is a big problem for many businesses that need to be prepared,” he said.
In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, Mr Sunak said the government had “done well” with its promise to provide the NHS with everything it needs.
The UK is making “very good progress” in rolling out the coronavirus vaccine, he said.
His comments came as the medical director behind the Oxford vaccine said researchers had found an “effective formula” to improve the function of the jjab.
The chancellor’s remarks on the Brexit agreement are similar to those of the Prime Minister, who described them as the beginning of “better relations and healthier relations” with the EU.
“It’s just a long and painful time, when we were trying to pretend we could go along with all sorts of things we didn’t want to do with the intention of keeping up with the great European Union work,” Boris Johnson told The Sunday Telegraph.
“Freedom is what you do with it,” he added. “It’s up to us now to seize the opportunity, but we have a huge challenge with COVID-19.”
He said he hoped voters would be “deeply convinced” by the decision “on an issue that has undermined our politics for decades”.
The Prime Minister also stressed that there could be a consequence of non-compliance with the agreements.
He said he and his senior Brexit coordinator, Lord Frost, had come to the conclusion “often that things are going the wrong way and that our best bet would be nothing”.
Mr Johnson added: “We made that clear in the EU. I would really do it, believe me.”
The Prime Minister said his government would not deviate from the EU “due to secession”.
On the issue of taxation and business administration, Mr Johnson said the chancellor was “doing a great job with all of this”.