British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday signed a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union after the MPs overwhelmingly backed the deal, The Guardian reported.
The House of Commons voted 521 to 73 in favour of the bill to bring in the agreement. The bill can now proceed to the House of Lords and is likely to receive royal assent before midnight.
Johnson told the Parliament the trade deal will redefine the relationship between European Union and the UK. “We now seize this moment to forge a fantastic new relationship with our European neighbours, based on free trade and friendly cooperation,” he said, according to The Guardian.
The British prime minister said his government succeeded in sealing the trade deal amid the coronavirus crisis. “We have pressed ahead with this task, resisting all calls for delay, precisely because creating certainty about our future provides the best chance of beating Covid and bouncing back even more strongly next year,” he added.
The UK will formally snap ties with the EU at 23.00 GMT on Thursday [4.30 am according to the Indian Standard Time], more than four years after the Brexit referendum, according to BBC.
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Britain and the European Union had finalised the trade agreement last week. The negotiations between the two sides had primarily been delayed due to disagreements over fair competition rules and fishing rights.
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 this year or face tariffs and economic hurdles in 2021.