BY LOUIS MILMAN, IBTISSEM GUENFOUD
(BRUSSELS, Belgium) — The European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a trade and cooperation agreement days before the next Brexit deadline. The UK is set to leave the European single market and customs unions on January 1.
The deal will allow for the UK to withdraw from the EU in an orderly manner.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said the deal the two sides reached was “worth fighting for,” offering hope that both sides can now “leave Brexit behind us and look to the future.”
The deal will create two separate economic markets, which include their own regulations and laws. Some barriers to trades and cross-border mobility are expected in both directions.
Still, in a statement, the EU says that not getting a deal done would have been economically damaging for both sides.
In his own statement, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reflected on the more than four years since the British people voted to leave the EU.
The deal is done. pic.twitter.com/zzhvxOSeWz
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 24, 2020
“We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny,” Johnson said in that statement. “We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered.”
WATCH: Johnson addressed the people of his country on Thursday morning
“Although we have left the EU,” Johnson added in his statement, however, “this country will remain culturally, emotionally, historically, strategically, and geologically attached to Europe…not least through the four million EU nationals who have requested to settle in the UK over the last four years and who make an enormous contribution to our country and to our lives.”
France’s President Emmanuel Macron, one of the first EU leaders to react to the news, also praised the achievement, tweeting that “Europe is moving forward and can look to the future, united, sovereign and strong”.
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