Portugal has welcomed the Brexit deal announced between the United Kingdom and the EU today – with the President of the Republic, prime minister and foreign minister all announcing their considerable relief.
The commercial agreement reached predictably close to the 11th hour “means a lot for Portugal”, stressed foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva – particularly for Portuguese resident in UK, and Brits resident here: they know they are living and working in “countries that are friends”, he said.
The deal signifies there are now “better conditions to develop an economic relationship” with the UK, which is also “the principal origin of tourism for Portugal”, he added.
Prime minister António Costa – still in prophylactic isolation within his official residence due to a meeting with President Macron the day before the French leader tested positive for Covid – has also tweeted his delight, while President Marcelo has written on the official site of the presidency that this is an ‘historic agreement’ for which both sides in the long drawn out negotiations deserve congratulations.
As reports have explained, the ‘divorce agreement’ comes a week ahead of the end of the transition agreement and has finally laid to rest all the fears of a so-called ‘disorderly exit’.
The treaty – to be ratified by British MPs in parliament on December 30 – will apply from 1 January 2021 and take over from arrangements under the transition period which have seen the UK continue to follow most EU rules since Brexit day.