Brexit: How good is the UK-EU trade deal? Only time will tell...

·1-min read

In recent weeks Boris Johnson has taken the country on a rollercoaster ride over Brexit.

At first there was hope, then there was irritation, steadfastness and stubbornness.

It culminated in what the prime minister wants to present as a Christmas Eve negotiating coup.

He has come out with a blizzard of claims of triumph against adversity, promises delivered and enormously complex arguments about negotiating wins against the EU.

But today isn't about Boris Johnson. Nor is it about the soap opera of the tortuous 11-month negotiation with Michel Barnier and his team.

It's all about the voters who, rightly, are likely to be paying very little attention today.

Ultimately the UK-EU trade deal will be judged by the public on a broad set of criteria.

Does this deal satisfy everyone who voted to leave the European Union in the referendum on 23 June 2016?

Does the British public think it gives the nation the freedom to do things it could not do as members of the EU?

Does it cause businesses and individuals difficulties in their dealings with the EU, or have sensible compromises been found?

How easy will it be to live, work and deal with people across the Channel and the Irish Sea?

These questions are simply not possible to answer today. Britain has begun a journey away from the EU and this is only the first step.

The detail of the deal has not been seen, only the slogans have.

Only once businesses are forced to follow its strictures and courts interpret its meaning, when it comes into force on 1 January, will the deal start to have an impact.

And only then can we truly know how good a deal it is.