Pro-Brexit forces in the UK have nearly completely folded in coming up with a transition deal.
The ‘win’ was saying they’d leave the EU, but in practice it won’t happen for many years (and the transition period could always get extended) while in the meantime they’re going to pay the EU, subject themselves to European regulation, and get a trade agreement.
The government slowly realised that this was simply delusional and conceded that formal departure would have to be followed by a “transition period”, during which Britain will continue to trade as if it is still a member of the EU at least until 2021. With the important difference that Britain will continue to be subject to EU law without having any say about what those laws are. Britain will go from being a rule-maker to a rule-taker. This will include an continuing role for the European court of justice in Britain’s affairs which will endure deep into the next decade, another of Mrs May’s “red lines” that have faded to a blush pink.
…Now the government says it expects Britain to be paying something of that order [€40bn], possibly rather more, as “a fair settlement of our obligations”
London Heathrow Terminal 5
Marginal Revolution summarizes, “In other words, they pay a lot of money, lose a seat at the table, and don’t significantly increase the policy autonomy of the country” while noting “Real estate in Northern Ireland remains significantly undervalued.”
This is all a win for British Airways, which retains access to European markets. There was never a chance of re-negotiating aviation treaties before ‘hard Brexit’ and at best wishful thinking that previous treaties superceded by the EU would simply revert into existence. There was some risk that Britons would have to sell their stakes in BA for the airline to retain access to European routes while avoiding running afoul of non-European ownership rules.