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UK and European Union reach Brexit trade deal

Baku, December 25, AZERTAC

The United Kingdom and European Union have reached a post-Brexit trade agreement after months of fraught negotiations, according to CNN. The breakthrough averts a much-feared "no-deal" scenario that would have sparked economic chaos and risked major disruption to the flow of goods and medicines.

"Deal is done," read the statement from Downing Street on Thursday afternoon -- swiftly followed by confirmation from Brussels.

Speaking shortly after the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the agreement was a "good deal" for the "whole of Europe" -- one that signified "a new stability and a new certainty in what has sometimes been a fractious and difficult relationship."

Echoing the nationalistic rhetoric that featured so prominently in the Brexit referendum campaign he said: "We've taken back control of our laws and our destiny...from January 1, we are outside the customs union and outside the single market; British laws will be made solely by the British parliament, interpreted by the UK judges sitting in UK courts; and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will come to an end."

Johnson claimed that the UK had achieved a "Canada-style" trade deal worth £660 billion (US $893 billion) and addressed the agreement on fisheries -- a key point of contention in the negotiations -- saying that the UK had taken back "full control" of its waters.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, right, and European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK Michel Barnier speak after the deal was agreed in Brussels on Thursday.

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed that the EU had struck a fair and balanced post-Brexit trade deal, but signaled that the bloc had the upper hand in the negotiations.

"As we knew, in any case, if there would have been a hard Brexit, it would not have been good for both sides, but it would have hit the United Kingdom harder than the European Union with all its might of 450 million citizens. And therefore, from a position of strength we were able to come forward with the most comprehensive agreement we've ever had," von der Leyen said at a news conference.

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