UK and EU strike a Brexit trade deal
Britain on Thursday clinched the narrow Brexit trade deal with the EU just seven days before it exits one of the world's biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed what he called "the biggest trade deal yet" with the European Union.
“Britain had taken back control of its laws, borders, and fishing waters,” he said.
"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," Boris added.
Meanwhile, European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that the trade deal agreed with Britain was a relief because it was clinched just a week before the end-year deadline.
"The clock is no longer ticking while today is a day of relief,” he said.
Barnier said the new deal is built around ambitious and equitable free trade, and an "unprecedented" economic and social partnership.
He said that Britain will have a new status as an independent coastal state, and new fishing quotas have been agreed between the EU and Britain.
"The European Union will stand beside its European fishermen, and will accompany them. That is our commitment," he said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the trade deal clinched by Britain and the European Union is "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," Ursula said.
"The negotiations were very difficult. A lot was at stake for so many people, so this was an agreement that we absolutely had to fight for," she added.
The European Parliament will analyse the agreement in detail before deciding whether to approve the agreement in the New Year.