The European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a post-Brexit trade deal, ending months of disagreements over fishing rights and future business rules.
Britain formally left the EU in January 2020 after a deeply divisive referendum proposed in 2016, leading to a vote that split the nation by a margin, but a decisive margin indeed. The UK became the first country to split from the EU, the political and economic project that was born as the continent rebuilt in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The complete details of the accord are yet to be released, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is a "good deal for the whole of Europe.”
The UK is set to exit EU trading rules next Thursday, but until then remains tied to the EU’s rules during this year-long transition period.
The deal will mean big changes for business, with the UK and EU forming two separate markets, with some key points being - the end of free movement; zero tariffs and quotas on goods; border checks between the UK and EU member states; standards on tax transparency; among many more.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters: "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."
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".
"We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade, and our fishing waters," a Downing Street source said.
Von der Leyen, in her announcement, concluded, "So to all Europeans, I say it is time to leave Brexit behind -- our future is made in Europe.”