The UK and EU have agreed a post-Brexit trade deal today, Christmas Eve, after months of deadlock in negotiations.
The historic deal will shape the UK’s future trading and security relationship with the European Union.
‘Fantastic news for families and businesses’
In a statement from Downing Street, the government said, “Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal."
The deal was signed one week before the end of the Brexit transition period, and will see the UK leave the single market and customs union on 31 December.
The trade agreement, which runs to 2,000 pages long, covers new arrangements allowing for tariff-free trade in goods and close police and judicial cooperation.
"We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters,” the government added.
“The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK.
"We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU.”
‘We have finally found an agreement’
European Commision president, Ursula von der Leyen, said, “We have finally found an agreement after a long and winding road.
“It is a good deal that is fair and balanced and responsible for both sides.”
The trade deal is unprecedented in its size and scope, with the UK government saying, “The deal is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth £668 billion in 2019.”
The statement went on, “It means that we will have full political and economic independence on 1st January 2021.
“A points-based immigration system will put us in full control of who enters the UK and free movement will end
“We have delivered this great deal for the entire United Kingdom in record time, and under extremely challenging conditions, which protects the integrity of our internal market and Northern Ireland’s place within it.”