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Finland agrees to new trade and cooperation agreement with the UK: 'Not good, but in everyone's interest' |  home

Finland agrees to new trade and cooperation agreement with the UK: ‘Not good, but in everyone’s interest’ | home

Finland has agreed to the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The issue was discussed in teleconferences in both the government and parliament on Monday. The new agreement is worse than EU membership, but better than no deal at all.

Christmas Eve deals have been treated with malice across Europe. The initial agreement should be in effect by the new year. It is urgent and therefore extraordinary measures are needed. Among other things, the requirement for national certification has been waived.

The approval of all member states is required in order for the EU Council of Ministers to make a formal decision on Tuesday on the provisional implementation of the agreement. It will apply until the end of February, when the law must be in effect.

Rule violation – again

The 1,300-page comprehensive agreement is so far only available in English. But no one had time to wait for the legal translation into the languages ​​of the Member States.

Meeting procedures were also different from normal when European governments and parliaments dealt with the matter on Monday.

The Finnish government notes that it is only exceptionally allowed to deviate from its own rules.

remote committee meeting

The Finnish government’s EU Ministers’ Committee approved the government’s position on the so-called “written action” on Monday morning.

In the afternoon, the Swedish Parliament’s large committee met in a remote meeting. The opinion of the Riksdag was to be formulated there.

The explanation in the large committee was that if all committee members agreed to the decision in the video meeting, it might suffice as an approval decision for the entire Riksdag. Otherwise, they had to meet at the site of the Swedish Parliament for official consideration.

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The Trade and Cooperation Agreement was supplemented by agreements on data security and cooperation in the field of nuclear energy. The government’s position is that the agreements as a whole are compatible with Finland’s EU negotiating objectives.

It is also important that the agreement be implemented immediately from the beginning of the year.

Better than nothing – but a lot is missing

The agreement is incompatible with EU membership. But in this case, it benefits both the European Union and the United Kingdom. It is much better than the non-contractual situation, said Europe Minister Titi Toborainen (SDP).

This is a new type of relationship between the UK and the EU, which respects the independence and independence of both parties. EU law is no longer binding on the UK.

The agreement does not cover foreign, security or defense policy, as the UK did not want to negotiate foreign security issues.

Wide discussion – and the question comes again

According to a Riksdag press release, the Grand Committee held a wide discussion based on the report of Minister Titi Toborainen.

The content of the agreements and the procedures for their management and approval were discussed. The impact of the agreements on trade in goods, financial services and taxation, as well as the free movement of persons, was addressed.

No objections or protests were mentioned in the press release. Consequently, the Swedish Parliament also approved the initial agreement, as expected. But the issue will be discussed more fully in the Swedish parliament in mid-January.

It was expected in advance that the ruling parties would accept the outcome of the EU negotiations. This time, too, the three opposition parties do not appear to have any objections.

“Encouraging those wishing to leave the Union”

The real Finnish member, Jani Makela, said he was not aware of any attempts to terminate the agreement or significant objections to the agreement as a whole.

True Finns see Brexit and the latest agreement as encouragement to all EU countries considering leaving the union. Now Britain should have the right to national self-determination, which is also important for true Finns.

– It is also possible to live outside the union, said Jani Makela, and the free movement of goods and people can continue.

SFP MP Eva Biaudette says the good news, among other things, for trade is that they have secured their Brexit deal. She mourns the British withdrawal from the Erasmus program (photo gallery)
Eva Biaudette reclines at a bar table during a theater break.
Eva Biaudette Demonstration Against Racism

“Good if there is no bitterness”

– It’s good that they managed to come to an agreement. Member of Parliament Eva Biaudette (SFP) says the agreement is good news in this disaster, even if Brexit does not go well.

She says it is also good to feel in the UK that you have won something. It will not help anyone if there is bitterness between Britain and the European Union.

Everyone wants good conditions in the future too, despite Brexit. We can only hope that it is possible to crawl close to each other in the future and not far away, says Eva Beaudette.

It is particularly saddened by the British withdrawal from the European student exchange program under the Erasmus programme.

It is really sad that the UK chose not to follow the Erasmus programme, which has benefited students in both directions. This applies to young people, who take for granted that there is an exchange in universities in Europe.

Beaudy hopes the UK will change its course in student exchange.

Some corrections were made to comply with EU terminology related to decision making.