Boris Johnson left Michel Barnier rattled by ‘calling EU chief’s bluff’ claims David Davis

Boris Johnson signs Brexit trade deal with EU

Mr Davis said the treaty agreed by the Prime Minister was “much better than would have been achieved under the previous strategy”. But he warned there were still “issues to deal with” on Northern Ireland, fishing and Gibraltar.

The treaty is much better than would have been achieved under the previous strategy

David Davis

Mr Davis told the Commons: “It’s not over. All will lead to uncomfortable decisions in the near future.”

He said one day was “not enough” to deal with the 1,200-page treaty and further time must be given to it to enable the UK to develop its strategy.

He said: “So we don’t get into conflicts with the European Union, don’t fall into traps, don’t get into acrimonious disputes.

“They’re our neighbours and our friends and we have to devise a strategy that will keep them as neighbours and friends, and maximise our joint benefits.

“If the House does that we will have a bright future, we will have better than the exact same benefits because we will have bigger opportunities around the rest of the world.”

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The EU (Future Relationship) Act received the backing of the Commons and Lords as the Government rushed approval through both Houses in a single day.

The legislation was granted royal assent at 12.25am this morning, signing the agreement finally reached between the UK and EU on Christmas Eve into law.

The Act paves the way for the deal to take effect at 11pm tonight when the current Brexit transition period comes to an end.

Mr Johnson said the UK’s destiny “now resides firmly in our hands”.

He said: “I want to thank my fellow MPs and peers for passing this historic Bill and would like to express my gratitude to all of the staff here in Parliament and across Government who have made today possible.

“The destiny of this great country now resides firmly in our hands. We take on this duty with a sense of purpose and with the interests of the British public at the heart of everything we do.”

The Prime Minister continued: “11pm on the 31st December marks a new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the EU as their biggest ally.

“This moment is finally upon us and now is the time to seize it.”

MPs backed the Bill by 521 to 73 at third reading, while peers gave it an unopposed third reading late last night.

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Tory Eurosceptics were jubilant, declaring that the “battle for Brexit” had finally been won.

Veteran Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash said: “Like Alexander the Great, Boris has cut the Gordian Knot.”

Mark Francois, one of the self-styled Spartans who held out against Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement, said they could now “lower our spears”.

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