The United Kingdom struck a Brexit trade deal with the European Union, seven days before it exited one of the world’s largest trading blocs in its biggest global shift since the decline of colonialism.
Here are some of the reactions when the two sides reached the long-awaited deal:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: ‘Today we have also resolved an issue that has plagued our politics for decades and it is up to us, all together, as a newly and truly independent nation, to realize the immensity of this moment and to ensure that the greatest part. “
Referring to the EU, he said: “We will be your friend, your ally, your supporter and, indeed, let us never forget, your number one market.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected Germany to be able to quickly decide whether or not to support the deal.
“The federal government will now take a close look at the text of the agreement. But we are not starting from scratch. The Commission has kept Member States informed throughout the negotiating process, ”she said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the united and firm stance taken by Europe had paid off.
“The unity and strength of Europe have borne fruit. The agreement with the United Kingdom is essential to protect our citizens, our fishermen, our producers. We will make sure that is the case, ”Macron said on Twitter.
“Europe is moving forward and can look to the future, united, sovereign and with strength.”
“Very welcome news that the UK and the EU have come to an agreement on the terms of a deal – a deal that gives business confidence and helps keep trade flowing. Looking forward to seeing the details in the coming days, ”former British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Twitter.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Madrid and London will continue to negotiate an agreement on British territory of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula.
“I welcome the principle of agreement between the EU and the UK … Spain and the UK are continuing their dialogue to reach an agreement on Gibraltar,” Sanchez said in a tweet.
Alexandre De Croo
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said: “In the end, there is only one thing that matters to me: to ensure the best possible protection of Belgium’s economic interests. We must protect our Belgian companies from unfair British competition.
“With this agreement, we can leave behind the intense discussions of the past four years. We can now work to build a new strong relationship with the UK, which has always been a historic partner of our country. Now is the time to look to the future. “
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told Newstalk Radio: “Today we are finally confident that there is a trade deal which I believe protects Ireland under the circumstances as well as we could have hoped.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a statement that the Netherlands will “carefully study the draft texts”, in particular the level playing field agreements between the EU and the UK, l access of Dutch fishermen to UK waters and the governance of the agreement.
“There is very little time to do it. Before a decision is taken in Brussels, the government will send an initial assessment of the deal to parliament, so that it has the opportunity to discuss the deal, ”Blok said.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said: “We warmly welcome the agreement reached with the UK on relations with the EU from 1 January. The United Kingdom will remain, in addition to our neighbor and ally, an important partner. “
UK retail consortium
Helen Dickinson, Managing Director of the British Retail Consortium, welcomed the Brexit trade deal.
“After years of campaigning for zero-tariff trade, we welcome the announcement of a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU. This protects consumers on both sides of the Channel from billions in import duties on everyday goods. With four-fifths of UK food imports coming from the EU, today’s announcement should give UK households a collective sigh of relief, ”she said.
British Food and Drink Federation
Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Beverage Federation, complained about the delay in concluding the deal.
“The Prime Minister has promised British businesses more than a year of transition to adapt to a new set of rules. He delivered us four working days. Food and beverage manufacturers will do their best to keep food flowing, ”he said.
“However, this week’s chaos in Dover and the latest gasping for this deal means there will be major disruptions in supply and some prices will rise. Disappointed buyers and consumers alike will wonder why a deal has lasted so long. “