Boris Johnson today declared that the UK has ‘taken back control’ after finally striking a Brexit deal after four years of desperate wrangling – with a propaganda war already underway over who came out best.
The PM hailed a ‘jumbo Canada-style’ free trade agreement that averts a chaotic split when the transition period ends on January 1.
‘We have taken back control of our laws and our own destiny,’ he told a Downing Street press conference, swiping at Nicola Sturgeon and others who demanded an extension of the transition period during the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Johnson – who was wearing a tie adorned with fish in a nod to one of the toughest issues – said he hoped the package would pave the way for a ‘new stability and a new certainty in what has been a fractious relationship’.
‘I think we were told you cannot have your cake and eat it,’ he said. ‘I not going to claim this is a cake-ist treaty… but it is I believe what the country needs at this time.’
Defending concessions on fishing rights, he said the country would now have ‘prodigious quantities’ of extra fish – and hinted at subsidies for the industry to boost catches.
He insisted the government could now focus on its ‘No1 priority’ of tackling Covid.
Wishing the country ‘Happy Christmas’, he joked: ‘Now for the sprouts.’
Ursula von der Leyen told her own briefing in Brussels that the terms were ‘balanced’ but that the bloc had negotiated from a ‘position of strength’ because No Deal would have been worse for Britain.