The EU and UK have reached a post-Brexit trade deal, ending months of disagreements over fishing rights and future business rules.
At a press conference in Downing street, Boris Johnson said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny.” He added as well that although arguments had been “fierce” it was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”, driving jobs and prosperity.
In the statement, Downing Street said: “We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters. “We have completed the biggest deal yet worth £668bn a year. ” Echoing Mr Johnson’s general election slogan, it added “we have got Brexit done”.
“A comprehensive Canada-style deal between the UK and the EU. A deal that will protect jobs across this country, that will enable UK goods to be sold without tariffs, without quotas in the EU market.
“A deal which will allow our companies to do even more business with our European friends.”
And in the same vein, EU president, Ursula von der Leyen said in a press conference in Brussels: “This was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it. It is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides.”
She added that now was “time to turn the page and look to the future” and that the UK “remains a trusted partner”. There will be a five-and-a-half-year transition period for the fishing industry, she indicated.
And co-operation will continue on issues including climate change, energy, security and transport, she also said.
However, the full text of the free trade agreement is expected to be published in the coming days.
The opposition Labour Party – which is widely expected to back the deal – said it would be setting out its formal response “in due course”.
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said a deal was better than no deal but criticised the timing just a week before the UK exits the EU single market and customs union.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Brexit is happening against Scotland’s will – and there is no deal that will ever make up for what Brexit takes away from us.
“It’s time to chart our own future as an independent, European nation.”
The deal will come as a major relief to many British businesses, already reeling from the impact of coronavirus, who feared disruption at the borders when the UK leaves EU trading rules next Thursday.