London, December 24: The United Kingdom sealed a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday. "Deal is done," a Downing Street source told news agency Reuters. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the UK and EU have reached an agreement on trade post Brexit. The deal comes just seven days before Britain exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs. Switzerland Sets Post-Brexit Quota for British Migrants.

"We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it," Ursula von der Leyen said, according to BBC. She described the deal as "fair" and "balanced". The UK and EU will "continue cooperating in all areas of mutual interest", she added. The UK officially exited the EU on January 31 and will leave the bloc's single market and customs union on December 31. Will Boris Johnson Cancel His Visit to India for Republic Day 2021 Event After Detection of New Coronavirus Strains? MEA Responds.

"We should ask as ourselves what sovereignty means in the 21st century. It is about pooling our strength and speaking together in a world full of great powers. It is about pulling each other up in times of crisis instead of trying to get back to your feet alone,"  Leyen was quoted as saying. Had the UK and EU failed to reach a free trade agreement, bilateral trade would have fallen back on World Trade Organization rules in 2021.

"The clock is no longer ticking. Today is a day of relief, but tinged by some sadness as we compare what came before with what lies ahead," EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier expressed.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 24, 2020 08:45 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website