In negotiating the deal, overseas territories such as the Falkland Islands have been overlooked and the situation with the border between Gibraltar and Spain must be negotiated.
The harshest criticism of the deal has come from the fishing industry, with fishermen’s organisations and fish producers calling it everything from disappointing to a betrayal. They believe that fishing communities have been sold out once again in order to establish a better foothold for other industries.
Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “This deal falls very far short of the commitments and promises that were made to the fishing industry by those at the highest level of government.
“It does not restore sovereign UK control over fisheries, and does not permit us to determine who can catch what, where and when in our own waters.”
The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations criticised the UK-EU framework agreement calling it “miniscule, marginal, paltry” and “pathetic”.
James Anderson, chairman of Shetland Fishermen’s Association, said the fisheries deal between the UK and EU was disappointing…” and “The deal is significantly worse than what was pushed for, and promised to us, by the Government.”
Paul Trebilcock, CEO of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation explained his member were left reeling by the deal: “We’ve had our expectations continually raised by the Prime Minister, and MPs, for years now. Promises of full and absolute control of our waters and better fishing opportunities have been made time and time again only to be shattered at the final moment. For Government to say this is a good deal is hugely disappointing, it is certainly not the deal we were led to believe we would receive, and it has left Cornish fishermen feeling angry and insulted.”
At yesterday’s press conference where he signed-off on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, The Brirish PM told the attending press, “By signing this deal, we fulfil the sovereign wish of the British people to live under their own laws, made by their own elected Parliament.”
In an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, the PM said the deal would allow the UK to “go our own way but also have free trade” with the EU.
Most Labour MPs voted in favour after leader Sir Keir Starmer said a “thin deal was better than no deal”, but all other opposition parties, including the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and all the Northern Ireland parties that take seats at Westminster, opposed the Bill.
Yesterday morning the Provisional Agreement was signed on behalf of the European Union, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission before it was delivered to London for signing.