The United Kingdom (UK) has clinched a Brexit trade deal with the European Union (EU) on Thursday — seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs.
The UK ceased to be a full member of the EU in January, following the Brexit vote on June 23, 2016.
It, however, agreed to continue with European rules until the end of 2020 so it could negotiate friendlier trading conditions with the other 27 nations.
The new deal will almost certainly mean lower tariffs and costs for exporters than they would have faced if the UK had left the EU without an agreement.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, said it was a “good deal.”
“It has been 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.”
The two sides had been embroiled in intense talks since March to establish how commerce will work from January onward. There were significant clashes over fishing, competition rules and the governance of their new relationship.
The trade agreement has to be ratified by the UK and EU parliaments in the coming weeks, but it’s a welcome development by businesses on both sides.
This puts an end to more than four years of what has at times seemed interminable economic uncertainty, and it marks the first time a member of the EU has formally withdrawn from the political bloc.
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