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UK and EU reach post-Brexit trade agreement

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Posted at 7:01 AM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 10:14:00-05

BRUSSELS (AP) — Britain and the European Union have struck a provisional free-trade agreement that should avert New Year’s chaos for cross-border commerce and bring a measure of certainty to businesses after years of Brexit turmoil.

The breakthrough on Thursday came after months of tense and often testy negotiations that whittled differences down to three key issues: fair-competition rules, mechanisms for resolving future disputes and fishing rights.

In a statement from Downing Street, the Prime Minister's residence, said, "We have got Brexit done and we can now take full advantage of the fantastic opportunities available to us."

Now comes the race to approve and ratify the deal before the U.K. leaves the EU’s economic structures on Jan. 1.

The British and European parliaments both must hold votes on the agreement. And key aspects of the future relationship between the 27-nation bloc and its former member remain unresolved.