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Home / News / World /  'It was worth fighting for this Brexit deal. Europe is now moving on': EU Commission chief

European and British negotiators finalised a post-Brexit trade deal on Thursday, officials from both sides said about the accord that will guarantee tariff-free trade on most goods and create a platform for future co-operation.

"We have finally found an agreement," the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.

"It was a long and winding road, but we have a good deal at the end of it," she said. "The single market will be fair and remain so."

The announcement came after days of intense back and forth between von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“It was a long and winding road -- but we have got a deal to show for it," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “It is fair, it is a balanced deal and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides."

"It was worth fighting for this deal. We now have a fair & balanced agreement with the UK. It will protect our EU interests, ensure fair competition & provide predictability for our fishing communities. Europe is now moving on," she said on Twitter.

She said "talks were very difficult" and that the deal is also in interest of UK.

"Will continue co-operating with UK in all areas. EU rules and standars will be respected. Single market will be fair and remain so. Will ensure Brexit is left behind," added Leyen.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held his arms aloft in victory in a photo he tweeted with the words: "The deal is done" after clinching a free-trade deal with the European Union on Thursday at the eleventh hour. "So I'm very pleased to tell you this afternoon that we have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth 660 billion pounds a year, a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal between the UK and the EU," he told a news conference.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "confident" a Brexit deal hammered out between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Thursday was a "good outcome".

"We will quickly be able to determine whether Germany can support today's result of the negotiations," she said in a statement, adding that her cabinet would meet in a telephone conference Monday to review the accord.

"I am very confident that we have a good result."

Merkel, who holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of the year, said it was of "historic importance" that the bloc and Britain had managed to reach agreement on their future ties.

"With this deal, we create the basis for a new chapter in our relations," she said.

"Even outside the European Union, Britain will remain an important partner for Germany and the European Union."

"We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us as an independent trading nation, striking trade deals with other partners around the world," Downing Street said in a statement.

"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 GBP 668 billion in 2019," it said, adding that the UK has taken back control of its "money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters".

"The deal also guarantees that we are no longer in the lunar pull of the EU, we are not bound by EU rules, there is no role for the European Court of Justice and all of our key red lines about returning sovereignty have been achieved. It means that we will have full political and economic independence on 1st January 2021," Downing Street declared.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier promised Thursday that Brussels would stand by Europe's fishing crews after Britain leaves the union.

The post-Brexit trade deal that he struck with Britain will see the UK fleet increase its catch in waters once subject to EU quota rules.

"This agreement will require efforts," Barnier said. "I know the European Union will support its fishermen and women. It will accompany them."

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