Michel Barnier and EU ambassadors spend Christmas Day pouring over 2,000-page Brexit deal
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is spending his Christmas Day pouring over the historic 2,000-page Brexit deal.
A £660billion trade deal was finally secured yesterday after four years of bitter wrangling between the UK and EU.
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Barnier today appeared in good spirits as he clutched the whopping 2,000-page binder in Brussels today.
He said "mission accomplished" before making his way into EU headquarters to meet with ambassadors.
Today's landmark Christmas Day meeting was the first of several EU co-reper meetings to sign off on the deal.
The bloc's chief negotiator and his team were praised by diplomats from each of the 27 EU member states for their "resilience and steadfastness".
It comes after a deal was finally sealed that will allow us to trade freely with the EU without tariffs or quotas.
The deal also means the UK can finally cut ties with Europe's meddlesome judges and sever the bloc's red tape as promised in the historic 2016 referendum.
Boris Johnson last night hailed "glad tidings of great joy" in a Christmas message.
Speaking in a video on Twitter, the PM said: "Tonight, on Christmas Eve, I have a small present for anyone who may be looking for something to read in that sleepy post-Christmas lunch moment.
"And here it is, tidings, glad tidings of great joy because this is a deal.
"A deal to give certainty to business, travellers, and all investors in our country from January 1.
"A deal with our friends and partners in the EU.
"You remember the oven ready deal by which we came out on January 31, that oven ready deal was just the start – this is the feast, full of fish, by the way.
"And I believe it will be the basis of a happy and successful and stable partnership with our friends in the EU for years to come.
"So, that's it, that's the good news from Brussels, now for the sprouts, and a happy Christmas to you all."
Four years, five months and 29 days after the British people voted to leave the EU, the PM declared we would finally be able to set our own rules from January 1 and strike out on our own – after 40 years shackled to Brussels.
He received another boost last night as Sir Keir Starmer vowed that Labour would back the deal – meaning it's likely to sail through the Commons next week.
Boris told the nation at a momentous press conference: "We have taken back control of our destiny – every jot and tittle of our laws."
While No10 insisted "everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal".
They added: "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
"The deal is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth £668bn in 2019."
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