Key quotes from the day the deal was done

Here are some of the key quotes from the day the Brexit deal was finally done.

“We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered” – Boris Johnson, speaking at a No 10 press conference.

“That’s the good news from Brussels – now for the sprouts” – the PM, ending his statement and inviting questions from his former colleagues in the media.

“I know this is a difficult day for some. To our friends in the UK, I want to say: parting is such sweet sorrow. But to use a line from TS Eliot: what we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning.

“So to all the Europeans, I say: It is time to leave Brexit behind, our future is made in Europe” – European Commission  President Ursula von der Leyen, at her press conference in Brussels.

“Our country begins a new journey as a fully independent country once again on 1 January. Our future and our prosperity are in our hands. I am confident we will thrive and succeed” – David Frost, the UK’s lead negotiator.

“The UK has chosen to leave the European Union and the single markets, to renounce the benefits and advantages enjoyed by member states. Our agreement does not reproduce these rights and benefits and therefore despite this agreement, there will be real changes in a few days from now” – the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

“Before the spin starts, it’s worth remembering that Brexit is happening against Scotland’s will. And there is no deal that will ever make up for what Brexit takes away from us. It’s time to chart our own future as an independent, European nation” – Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“From what we have heard today, I believe that it represents a good compromise and a balanced outcome”  – Irish premier Micheal Martin.

“It’s good to end a difficult year with some positive news” – former Tory PM David Cameron, who called the referendum on the UK’s EU membership in 2016, campaigned for Remain and resigned when the vote went the other way.

“Very welcome news that the UK & EU have reached agreement on the terms of a deal – one that provides confidence to business and helps keep trade flowing. Looking forward to seeing the detail in the coming days” –  another former Tory PM, Theresa May, whose own attempts to deliver Brexit were thwarted in part by Boris Johnson.

“This deal is better than nothing. But not by much” – Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady

“After four long years of uncertainty and upheaval, and just days before the end of transition, businesses will be able to muster little more than a muted and weary cheer. While firms will welcome the agreement of a new foundation for UK-EU trade, they are now faced with the gargantuan task of adapting to new arrangements with scarcely a week before they take effect” – British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall.

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