11:29 GMT25 January 2021
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    LONDON, (Sputnik) - The United States and the United Kingdom on Wednesday signed a customs agreement set to snap into place with the UK’s exit from the EU at the turn of the year.

    The bilateral Customs Assistance Agreement was signed by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, and US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson at a signing ceremony at the US embassy in London, a statement on the UK government website said.

    The agreement will allow the smooth transition of the existing customs trade relationship, including sharing data to tackle customs fraud, that the two sides previously maintained within the EU framework.

    “This is an important agreement that ensures continuity post EU exit, and demonstrates the strength of the US-UK customs relationship,” Norman was quoted as saying in the press release.

    This is separate from a high-stakes free trade agreement under negotiation between the two sides which is anticipated to be the centerpiece of the UK’s post-Brexit economic climate.

    The nature of the customs relationship with the European Union has proven to be one of the stumbling blocks in contentious talks between London and Brussels, going into the eleventh hour and retaining the possibility of failing and resulting in a no-deal Brexit.


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