Britain and European Union (EU) on Thursday announced that they have finalised a provisional post-Brexit deal, avoiding the most acrimonious ending to the divorce on January 1.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the deal was fair, balanced and right. "It 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 said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a picture of himself inside Downing Street, raising both arms in a thumbs-up gesture of triumph, with the words "The deal is done"
Addressing a press conference, Johnson said that Britain had taken back control of its laws, borders, and fishing waters.
"So I'm very pleased to tell you this afternoon that we have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth 660 billion pounds a year, a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal between the UK and the EU," he said.
After months of talks that were at times undermined by both COVID-19 and rhetoric from London and Paris, leaders across the EU's 27 member states have cast an agreement as a way to avoid the nightmare of a "no-deal" exit.
The UK formally left the EU on January 31 2020 but has since been in a transition period under which rules on trade, travel and business remained unchanged until the end of this year.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)
First Published: IST