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【News Buddy】英捕魚權大讓步 脫歐貿易協議拍板

●英國與歐盟就捕魚權達成協議。 資料圖片●英國與歐盟就捕魚權達成協議。 資料圖片


英國(United Kingdom)脫歐(Brexit)過渡期(transition period)於去年12月底結束,與歐盟(European Union)的脫歐貿易談判因捕魚等問題爭持不下。據英國媒體12月24日報道,為盡快達成貿易協議,英國首相約翰遜(Boris Johnson)在捕魚權(fishing rights)方面作出「重大讓步」。雙方12月24日在不同魚類的捕撈配額細節方面談妥後,宣布正式達成歷史性的自由貿易協議(free trade agreement),從而避免英國「硬脫歐」。

約翰遜在記者會上宣布英歐正式達成貿易協議,表示協議對英歐雙方皆有利(beneficial),強調英國仍然是歐盟的盟友(ally)和最重要市場。英國首相府發言人(spokesperson)表示,協議涵蓋雙方總值6,680億英鎊(約7萬億港元)的貿易額,是英歐歷來最大規模的雙邊協議,為雙方未來的關係奠下基礎,強調在2016脫歐公投(referendum)和去年大選作出的承諾已兌現,在邊界(borders)、法律(laws)、貿易(trade)等範疇奪回控制權。歐盟委員會(European Commission)主席馮德萊恩(Ursula von der Leyen)則表示對達成協議感到高興和鬆一口氣。

報道指出,雙方談判代表在日以繼夜審核長達2,000頁的協議文本,約翰遜和馮德萊恩亦多次通電話,在公平競爭(fair competition)及安全合作方面已達成協議。至於被視為談判最關鍵議題的捕魚權,約翰遜同意作出重大讓步,原本英方要求歐盟漁船在英國水域的捕魚量(volume of fish)減少60%,現時只要求捕魚量減少25%,而且英方同意在5年半內分階段執行,為談判清除最後障礙,英歐12月24日為不同魚類及不同捕魚區域的捕撈配額細節磋商,有歐盟官員12月24日較早時曾表示,「只需數小時便可正式達成協議。」

據《衛報》(Guardian)報道,近期直接參與談判的約翰遜和馮德萊恩,12月24日早上再通電話後,為協議正式拍板。協議涉及範圍廣泛,除捕魚權外,還包括民間核能(nuclear energy)合作,民航(aviation)連繫等方面。按照協議,英國貨品在進入歐洲市場時,可保留「零關稅(tariff)、零配額」的待遇,當協議生效後,雙方可就協議有關經濟的條文進行正式檢討,若在落實協議上出現爭論,不會提交歐洲法院(European Court of Justice)仲裁(arbitration),而是按國際法(international law)處理。

英國國會(U.K. Parliament)下議院(House of Commons)預計聖誕節過後開會審批協議,歐盟27成員國則估計會臨時通過協議,稍後再交由歐洲議會(European Parliament)表決。

英歐接近達成貿易協議的消息12月24日較早時傳出後,市場反應正面,倫敦富時100指數(London FTSE 100 index)一度上升0.3%,英鎊兌美元匯價上升0.6%,兌港元亦升近0.6%,報10.534港元。

Brexit trade deal reached with U.K.'s huge concessions on fish

【譯文】While the Brexit transition period ended at the end of December, the trade negotiations between the U.K. and the European Union (EU) has dragged on for a long time due to various issues such as fisheries. According to the British media on 24 December, the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made a significant concession on fishing rights in a bid to reach a trade agreement as soon as possible. Soon after the problem of fishing quotas for different fish species had been resolved on 24 December, both sides announced that a historic free trade agreement had formally been reached so as to avoid a "hard Brexit" for the U.K.

In a press conference announcing the deal, Johnson said that the agreement was beneficial to both the U.K. and the E.U., emphasizing that the U.K. would still be the EU's ally and number one market. A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister's Office said that the agreement covered a collective market worth $668 billion pounds (approximately HK$7 trillion), which was the largest bilateral trade pact in history, forming the basis for the future partnership of both sides. The U.K. government said that the promises made during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year had been fulfilled by this deal as the country had regained control over the fields such as borders, laws and trade. The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was happy and felt relief after reaching the agreement.

It was reported that the representatives of both sides reviewed the deal document with around 2,000 pages long day and night, and with several phone calls made between Johnson and von der Leyen, an agreement on the significant areas of fair competition and security cooperation was eventually reached. Johnson even made major concessions on fishing rights - the most critical topic of the negotiations, in which the U.K. requested only a 25% cut in the volume of fish caught by EU boats in its waters, a substantial drop from the 60% it was originally demanding, with a five-and-a-half-year transition period to remove the final barriers of the negotiations. Both sides kicked off negotiations on 24 December further to finalize the details on various fish species and fishing quota shares in different zones, and an EU official expected earlier that it might take just a few hours to come up with a consensus.

According to the Guardian, Johnson and von der Leyen, who were directly involved in the recent negotiations, made a formal decision for the deal soon after their tele-conversation on the morning of 24 December. Apart from fishing rights, the agreement provided for wide-ranging cooperation on nuclear energy and aviation etc. It had also secured zero tariffs or quotas on goods from U.K. entering the E.U. market. After the agreement came into force, both parties would be able to conduct a formal review on the economic provisions, and any dispute over the implementation of the deal would no longer be subject to arbitration of the European Court of Justice, but to be handled in accordance with general international law.

The House of Commons of the U.K. Parliament was expected to deliberate the deal document soon after Christmas, while the 27 EU member states might approve the agreement provisionally, and then submit the document to the European Parliament for a vote later on.

Following the news released on 24 December that the U.K. and the E.U. were entering into a trade agreement, the market had responded positively. The London FTSE 100 index traded up around 0.3%, and the pound was also up approximately 0.6% against both U.S. and Hong Kong dollars, closing at HK$10.534.●龐嘉儀


1. 英國於何年加入歐洲共同體(European Community)(歐盟前身)?

2. 2016脫歐公投中有多少個百分比的英國選民投票支持脫歐?

3. 英國於何時正式退出歐盟?

4. 英國政府於2017年提出了什麼草案以正式啟動脫歐程序?

5. 英國曾發行了多少枚脫歐紀念幣?


1. 1973年

2. 51.9%

3. 2020年1月31日

4. 《退出歐盟通知法令》

5. 300萬枚