• By The Financial District

EU EXECS SIGN BREXIT TRADE DEAL AS UK LAWMAKERS BICKER

On the eve of the UK’s seismic economic split from the European Union (EU), British lawmakers were being asked to turn a 1,200-page trade agreement with the bloc into law in a single day on Wednesday, Jill Lawless and Samuel Petrequin reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Just after the EU’s top officials formally signed the hard-won agreement in Brussels, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged legislators in the House of Commons to back a deal that he said heralded “a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals.”


The UK left the EU almost a year ago, but remained within the bloc’s economic embrace during a transition period that ends at midnight Brussels time — 11 p.m. in London — on Thursday.


The deal will then enter into force, if Britain’s Parliament has approved it.


The European Parliament also must sign off on the agreement, but is not expected to do so for several weeks.


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel signed the agreement during a brief ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday morning.


The documents were then being flown by Royal Air Force plane to London for Johnson to add his signature.


"The agreement that we signed today is the result of months of intense negotiations in which the EU has displayed an unprecedented level of unity,” Michel said.

“It is a fair and balanced agreement that fully protects the fundamental interests of the European Union and creates stability and predictability for citizens and companies.”



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