The UK is, of course, culturally, spiritually and emotionally part of Europe.
This Agreement with the European Union is designed to honour the instruction of the British people – expressed in the referendum of 2016 and the general election last year – to take back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries. It
changes the basis of our relationship with our European neighbours from EU law to
free trade and friendly cooperation.
And this ambitious Agreement – carefully judged to benefit everyone – is the first the EU has ever reached allowing zero tariffs and zero quotas. We will preserve the
immense benefits of free trade for millions of people in the United Kingdom and
At the same time, our Agreement means that the UK will fully recover its national
independence. At 11pm on 31 December, we will take back control of our trade
policy and leave the EU customs union and single market. We will take back control
of our waters, with this treaty affirming British sovereignty over our vast marine
wealth. We will take back control of our money by ending vast payments to the EU.
We will take back control of our borders and will introduce our new points-based
immigration system at the start of next year. Most importantly, the agreement
provides for the UK to take back control of our laws, affording no role for EU law and no jurisdiction for the European Court of Justice. The only laws we will have to obey are the ones made by the Parliament we elect.
While we made our fair share of compromises during the negotiations, we never
wavered from the goal of restoring national sovereignty – the central purpose of
leaving the EU. I have always said that Brexit was not an end but a beginning: the
start of a new era of national change and renewal, the next act in the great drama of our country’s story. We will regain the ability to wield powers that have for too long been the sole preserve of Brussels. We will now take up these tools to deliver the changes that people yearn for and, in so doing, we will restore faith in our
The UK is, of course, culturally, spiritually and emotionally part of Europe. This
agreement provides for close and friendly cooperation with our neighbours in all the many areas where our values and interests coincide. It is my fervent hope that this Treaty, rooted in Britain’s sense of itself as a proudly European country, will help to
bring people together and heal some of the divisions created by the referendum over four years ago.
The responsibility now falls on our shoulders to take full advantage of the freedom of action our country has regained. Next year will be our opportunity to show what
Global Britain can do, reasserting ourselves as a liberal free trading nation and a
force for good in the world.
Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
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