15:12 Thursday, 24 December 2020
A Brexit Trade Deal between the UK and EU has been finalised just days before the deadline.
The Treaty will apply from January 1st and take over from existing arrangements under the transition period.
Fishing rights are proving to be the stickler, delaying the announcement of the agreement, following overnight talks.
EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said the deal was worth the fight.
It was worth fighting for this deal.
We now have a fair & balanced agreement with the UK. It will protect our EU interests, ensure fair competition & provide predictability for our fishing communities.
Europe is now moving on. https://t.co/77jrNknlu3
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 24, 2020
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has welcomed the announcement.
#Brexit deal is very welcome after four long years of negotiations. Thanks to @vonderleyen & @MichelBarnier & team. While we will miss the UK from the European Union, the fact that a deal is now in place means we can focus on how we manage good relationship in the years ahead.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) December 24, 2020
A Downing Street source has said that ‘the deal is fantastic news’.
“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.”
“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,” the source said.