UK and EU agree historic Brexit trade deal

UK and EU agree historic Brexit trade deal

Accord will guarantee tariff-free trade on most goods and create a platform for future co-operation

Britain and the EU have sealed a Christmas trade agreement, a new economic and security accord that both sides hope will allow them to rebuild their relationship after years of Brexit acrimony.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, clinched the deal after nine months of negotiations, culminating in haggling on Christmas Eve over fishing rights.

An upbeat Mr Johnson said Britain had secured its negotiating objectives: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny,” he said. He added that it was “a good deal for all of Europe”.

The mood in Brussels was more sober, with Ms von der Leyen saying one of her main feelings was “relief” that “we can finally put Brexit behind us”. “To our friends in the UK, I want to say, parting is such sweet sorrow,” she added.