Radio Gdansk News: UK Trade Deal Approved by EU Ambassadors

Ambassadors of the 27 European Union member states have provisionally approved a trade deal with the United Kingdom, ahead of the country’s ultimate exit from the EU bloc later this week.

The post-Brexit trade agreement, formally known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, was finally agreed on Christmas Eve following months of negotiations and repeated deadlocks.

The agreement, set to take effect from January 1st, lays out the EU’s future relationship with the UK, including trade, security cooperation, and travel rules. Stretching to more than 1000 pages, the deal allows for tariff & quota-free trade between Britain and Europe, as well as waiving travel visa requirements for stays of up to 90 days.

The deal also confirms that European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will remain valid until expiry, meaning Brits traveling to Europe will be able to access healthcare without paying for insurance. After expiry, the cards are set to be replaced by a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), offering the same access to healthcare across the EU after Brexit.

From Friday, the UK will no longer be a part of the EU trading bloc as the 11-month Brexit transition period reaches its end. The British parliament is expected to ratify the agreement tomorrow, with the European Parliament set to do so early in the new year.

New restrictions come into force across Poland as New Year’s Eve curfew is scrapped.

Restrictions came into force for a three week period yesterday. Non-essential retail has been closed, as well as ski resorts – an attempt to stop people gathering for skiing holidays during the usually busy school winter holidays.

But a one-off curfew, planned for New Year’s Eve, has now been scrapped by the government. Under the plans, movement would have been strictly curtailed on the night of December 31st to January 1st, when many usually gather to see in the new year.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the curfew would be canceled on Sunday, though he repeated his appeal for people to stay at home on New Year’s Eve.

A Gdansk nurse has become the first person in the city to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

Malgorzata Sobania received the jab on Sunday, shortly after a Warsaw nurse became the first in the country to be vaccinated. Speaking to reporters, Nurse Sobania said the start of vaccinations was an important moment in the fight against the pandemic.

Roll-out of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began on Sunday across Poland, with 10,000 vaccinations expected within days.

In related news, the Prime Minister announced yesterday that a shipment of 300,000 more vaccines had arrived in Poland and would begin distribution to 250 hospitals around the country.


Rain expected to continue as we go into the afternoon, but easing off into the evening. Temperatures today feeling mild at 5, 41F, with light-to-moderate winds coming in from the south. Tomorrow set to be cooler and brighter with no rain expected.

Radio Gdansk News/Thomas Holdstock

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