The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed on a trade deal just days ahead of the Brexit deadline. Britain is finally on the path to leaving the 27-member European bloc on December 31.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the deal as a major victory, claiming that Britons “have taken back control” almost four and a half years after the national referendum.

Nigel Farage, the leading Brexit campaigner, who often criticized PM Johnson and the Conservative party for their handling of the Brexit negotiations, appears to have endorsed the deal. “The war is over” he said, signaling his support for the arrangement.

The leader of UK’s main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, also voiced support for the agreement, calling it a “tough but necessary decision.”

The BBC reported the finalizing of the deal:

The EU and UK have reached a post-Brexit trade deal, ending months of disagreements over fishing rights and future business rules.

At a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny.”

The text of the agreement has yet to be released, but the PM claimed it was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.

The UK is set to exit EU trading rules next Thursday – a year after officially leaving the 27 nation bloc.

It will mean big changes for business, with the UK and EU forming two separate markets, and the end of free movement.

German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle covered the initial EU reaction:

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said that the UK and the EU will continue cooperating on areas of mutual interest, naming climate, energy, security and intelligence and transport. (…)

The French politician and chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that the EU “will be alongside European fishermen to support them,” and promised that the deal provides ” a basis for reciprocal access to water and resources, with a new distribution of quotas and fishing opportunities.” Fisheries had been a key sticking point throughout Brexit talks.

On trade, Barnier said that: “there will be some real changes ahead from January 1 for a lot of citizens and a lot of businesses. That is the consequence of Brexit.”

There will be free trade without tariffs between the UK and the EU. A new set of rules named “the level playing field,” will “be the mark for the EU for all agreements regarding free trade,” Barnier told the press conference.

French President Emmanuel Macron saw the agreement as a win for the EU. “The unity and strength of Europe paid off,” he reacted.

Germany, the leading European power behind the EU, is yet to fully endorse the deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she will go through the details before backing the deal.

“The federal government will now closely examine the text of the agreement. But we are not starting at zero. The Commission has kept the member states in the loop during the entirely negotiation process,” she said.


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