Two weeks ago the prime minister said no-deal would be wonderful. It really wouldn’t have been.
There is huge relief among businesses that the major disruption that no-deal would have caused has been avoided.
There will be zero tariffs and zero quotas on most trade in goods. Manufacturers are delighted.
Nissan has confirmed it will be staying in Sunderland – it had suggested it would close the car factory there if we’d left the EU without a trade agreement.
But note: PSA is not committing to its Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere Port. It wants to see the details before deciding its next move.
It is concerned about the new “Rules Of Origin” tests. Tariff-free access to EU markets is all well and good but Vauxhall isn’t sure its cars will qualify.
This deal does very little for services – the bulk of our economy – financial services in particular. Banks and insurers will no longer be able to serve their EU based customers from the UK, but then they have known that for some time. There’s no blow in this deal that they weren’t expecting.
Nurses, doctors, accountants, engineered and architects will be concerned to hear that the EU is only offering limited mutual recognition of their professional qualifications.
Those who are already working for EU customers appear fine. Those who don’t and hope to in future may find they have to take additional exams.