Business leaders said there was little cause for celebration as a post-Brexit deal was reached.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “A deal has emerged ridiculously late in the day and there is a huge amount of detail to assess.”

He said it would “ensure we avoid crippling tariffs of up to 80% on some of our key food exports”.

“However, before Ministers start popping champagne corks, they need to be alive to the danger of more disruption at our ports in just a few days’ time. 

“The tariff threat is averted but we remain hugely concerned at the wave of new export checks about to be introduced."

READ MORE: Boris Johnson addresses the UK about Brexit trade deal

He said: “For months now we have been warning the UK Government of disruption and a lack of readiness. We have lost a transition period to a pandemic and it is only with a week to go that we now know what we are transitioning to.

“We would urge the UK Government to now seek a grace period on the introduction of new export checks on January 1.

“Businesses cannot afford more disruption after a nightmare year and a Christmas export trade that has been ruined for many. If they face more losses through no fault of their own, UK Government will have to be ready with financial aid.

“With four working days until the end of the year, there are around 2000 pages of detail to analyse. There is already grim news emerging for seed potato exports to Europe, important to Scotland’s farmers. They now look blocked from 1 January. The phrase ‘free trade’ certainly won’t apply to them.”

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: "After four long years of uncertainty and upheaval, and just days before the end of transition, businesses will be able to muster little more than a muted and weary cheer.

“While firms will welcome the agreement of a new foundation for UK-EU trade, they are now faced with the gargantuan task of adapting to new arrangements with scarcely a week before they take effect.

“Businesses will need to digest the contents of the deal and consider what its provisions mean for the movement of goods, people and data across borders, as well as for their supply chains and partners.  

“We repeat that it is the responsibility of Government to give firms clear, precise and detailed guidance so that they can make the required changes quickly. Far too many details and procedures have been left, literally, to the last minute."

HeraldScotland: Done deal: UK and EU reach agreement on post-Brexit trade dealDone deal: UK and EU reach agreement on post-Brexit trade deal

UK and EU reach agreement on trade deal

Negotiators from the UK and European Union have agreed a post-Brexit trade deal.

READ MORE: After months of talks and last-minute wrangling, the deal was secured on Christmas Eve - just one week before current trading arrangements expire.

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