French Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault denies media reports that France was lobbying the EU not to sign a trade deal with Australia that has been under negotiation since 2018.
The report said Britain was reluctant to grant full status to EU diplomats in London because it did not want to set a precedent in the eyes of other international organisations.
Legally, Britain left the EU on January 31 but has been in a standstill transition period during fractious talks to secure a free-trade agreement with Brussels. From, January 1, 2021, EU rules will no longer apply to the British people.
Ambassadors of the 27-nation bloc have all approved a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain, fulfilling a prerequisite for the agreement to come into effect on January 1, 2021.
Access to EU markets will not be granted to banks, insurers and other financial firms based in Britain unless their home rules are deemed by Brussels to be "equivalent."
The post-Brexit deal will preserve Britain's zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU's single market of 450 million consumers, but will not prevent economic pain and disruption for both sides.
Britain-European Union ties will now be based on the 2020 divorce settlement, as well as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement sealed on Thursday.
Britain's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU looks certain to be passed when parliament is recalled on December 30 after the main opposition Labour party said it would vote in favour despite misgivings.
British and European negotiators have found a way forward on most issues, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen says as talks on a post-Brexit trade deal continue.
The trade pact brings together 15 countries to form a free trade bloc as formidable as the European Union.
With a manufacturing sector feeling the strain of the covid-19 pandemic, Mexico is nonetheless aiming to boost its automotive industry.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on December 13 that representatives from both countries would sign the Phase 1 trade deal agreement in the first week of January.
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