Britain and the European Union on Thursday reached a post-Brexit trade deal, BBC reported. The agreement marked the end of discord over fair competition rules and fishing rights.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a celebratory picture after the announcement. “The deal is done,” he wrote.
Johnson said he hoped for a Parliament session on 30 December to vote on the deal. The Labour Party, meanwhile, said it will issue a formal response “in due course”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the deal was fair and balanced. “It is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides,” she was quoted as saying by BBC . “This was a long and winding road but we have got a good deal to show for it.”
Leyen added that it was time to leave Brexit behind, according to The Guardian. “Our future is made in Europe,” she added.
Former British prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron also welcomed the deal. “Very welcome news that the UK and EU have reached agreement on the terms of a deal – one that provides confidence to business and helps keep trade flowing,” May tweeted. “Looking forward to seeing the detail in the coming days.”
Cameron called the development “positive news”, and welcomed it as a good end to a difficult year. “Trade deal is very welcome and a vital step in building a new relationship with the EU as friends, neighbours and partners,” he tweeted. “Many congratulations to the UK negotiating team.”
Johson had earlier set an October 15 deadline for the trade agreement with the European Union and warned that he could walk away from the negotiations if a deal is not reached by that date. Discussions on the deal, however, resumed a week later.
Britain formally exited the EU on January 31. The country had to reach a trade deal with the bloc by the end of its transition period on December 31 or face tariffs and economic hurdles in 2021. The negotiations between the two sides had primarily been delayed due to disagreements over fair competition rules and fishing rights.