Brexit: Johnson announces UK has completed trade deal with EU
German MEP Manfred Weber accused Boris Johnson of “obstructionism” in negotiations, adding that the agreement was “better late than never”. He tweeted: “We are relieved to know that despite @10DowningStreet obstructionism the EU and the UK finally agreed on a future trade relationship.
“The draft agreement comes very late, but better late than never… Now Parliament can finally get to work to scrutinise the deal.
“We congratulate and honour @MichelBarnier and his team for his commitment and dedication in this historic process.
“We are about to close the never ending Brexit saga, but we aren’t there yet. The @Europarl_EN will take its time before finally approving the text.”
The deal was secured on Christmas Eve, a week before the transition period ends.
A German MEP has made a final dig at Britain after a post-Brexit trade deal was agreed
German MEP Manfred Weber accused Boris Johnson of “obstructionism” in negotiations
A Downing Street source insisted that “everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal”.
They added: “We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters.
“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
“The deal is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth £668bn in 2019.
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Boris Johnson said the deal will allow the UK to “take back control” as promised in the 2016 referendum
“The deal also guarantees that we are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU, we are not bound by EU rules, there is no role for the European Court of Justice and all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved. It means that we will have full political and economic independence on January 1 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.
“We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us as an independent trading nation, striking trade deals with other partners around the world.”
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We are relieved to know that despite @10DowningStreet obstructionism the EU and the UK finally agreed on a future trade relationship. The draft agreement comes very late, but better late than never… Now Parliament can finally get to work to scrutinise the deal. #Brexit 1/2
— Manfred Weber (@ManfredWeber) December 24, 2020
The Prime Minister and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen were in close contact over recent days to push the deal over the line.
But talks led by the UK’s chief negotiator Lord Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier continued throughout the day as the final details were hammered out.
In a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said the agreement was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.
He added that the deal will allow the UK to “take back control” as promised in the 2016 referendum.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the deal was “fair and balanced”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the “clock is no longer ticking”
Speaking in Brussels, European Commission chief Mrs von der Leyen said: “We have finally found an agreement.
“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.”
Mr Barnier added: “The clock is no longer ticking. After four years of collective effort and EU unity to preserve peace and stability on the island of Ireland, to protect the citizens and the single market, to build a new partnership with the UK.”
Lord Frost tweeted: “I’m very pleased and proud to have led a great UK team to secure today’s excellent deal with the EU.
“Both sides worked tirelessly day after day in challenging conditions to get the biggest & broadest trade deal in the world, in record time. Thank you all who made it happen.
“Today’s agreement does more than just deliver a zero tariffs deal. It covers areas such as services, aviation, road transport, social security, health, fisheries, and, crucially, law enforcement. And it allows us to participate in the Horizon scientific research programme.
“It also restores Britain’s sovereignty in full. EU law ceases to apply; the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice ends; there is no alignment with EU rules; and our Parliament sets all laws for our country once again.
“Our country begins a new journey as a fully independent country once again on 1 January. Our future and our prosperity are in our hands. I am confident we will thrive and succeed.”