London. Britain and the European Union struck a trade deal Thursday after 10 months of intense negotiation allowed them to soften the economic shock of Brexit.
When the UK leaves the EU single market at the New Year it will not now face tariffs on cross-Channel commerce, despite breaking off half a century of close partnership.
“We’ve taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We’ve taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete, and unfettered,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared.
EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen was more measured.
“At the end of a successful negotiation journey, I normally feel joy. But today, I only feel quiet satisfaction and, frankly speaking, relief,” she said, citing English playwright William Shakespeare: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
She also warned that protected by the deal from unfair British competition, “The single market will be fair and remain so.”
And she urged the 440 million Europeans remaining in the 27-nation union to put the drama of the four years since Britain’s Brexit referendum behind them and to look to the future. (AFP/RSS)