Brexit Deal

Updated ET, Sat ,

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will update the diplomats on the agreement, reached after months of fraught talks on fishing rights and business rules.

The UK is set to exit EU trading rules on 31 December - a year after officially leaving the 27-nation bloc.

MPs are still waiting to see the full text of the free trade deal ahead of a vote in Parliament on 30 December.

Labour said it was a "thin agreement" but they would back it as the only alternative to a no deal, meaning it should win approval.

The European Parliament also needs to ratify the deal but is is unlikely to do so until the new year, meaning its application will formally be provisional until then.

The UK's chief trade negotiator Lord Frost, said the deal document, which is made up of about 1,500 pages - including approximately 1,000 pages of annexes and footnotes - would be published soon.

For the Brexit process, the deal announced by the U.K. and the European Union on Christmas Eve marks a long-awaited end to the beginning.

For business and markets, it removes the worst of the risks associated with Britain’s decision to quit the trading bloc. The two sides no longer face the prospect of tariffs or quotas on each other’s goods from Jan. 1—an outcome that would have massively disrupted trade patterns that have built up over decades in products such as food, vehicles and airplanes.

That explains sterling’s roughly 1% rise against the euro since talk of a deal gained steam on Wednesday. A worst-case scenario that was dragging down the average view of Britain’s economic prospects has been removed.

This doesn’t mean the prospects are great. Even with a tariff-free trade deal, the U.K. government’s spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, previously forecast that Britain’s output would be 4% lower than it might have been if the country had remained within the bloc, mainly because “nontariff barriers” such as divergent regulations and customs checks will reduce trade. Sterling is still close to historic lows against the euro.

An EU-UK deal has been reached, and though a lot will change in January, the worst has been avoided and both are breathing a sigh of relief. Afterall, half of the UK's trade is with its European neighbors.

Boris Johnson today declared that a Brexit deal has been done after four years of desperate wrangling - with a furious propaganda war already underway.

The PM has made history by sealing future trade terms to avert a chaotic split when the transition period ends on January 1, after Lord Frost and Michel Barnier thrashed out a 2,000-page text.

Downing Street said the agreement was 'fantastic news' - with Mr Johnson now set to hold a press conference. 

A senior No10 source said: 'Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal.

'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.'

Ursula von der Leyen told her own briefing in Brussels that the terms were 'balanced'. 'We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road but we've got a good deal to show for it,' she said.

( )