UK Parliament has given its approval to the post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), signaling a turning point in their relationship as the UK prepares to officially leave the EU. The trade deal, which was signed on December 30, 2020, secures nearly $1 trillion in annual trade and marks the end of a long and difficult negotiation process.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the importance of close collaboration with the EU when their interests align, seeing Brexit as an opportunity for the UK to shape its economy according to its own priorities. He emphasized that the responsibility now lies with everyone to make the most of the powers regained through Brexit.

The trade deal received overwhelming support in Parliament’s lower house, with a vote of 521 to 73 in favor. However, the opposition Labour Party clarified that their support was primarily due to the catastrophic consequences of a no-deal scenario. Queen Elizabeth gave her final approval, validating the legislation necessary for implementing and ratifying the trade deal.

Critics of the trade deal have raised concerns, particularly regarding the protection of trade in services, the interests of fishermen, and the status of Northern Ireland. Despite these criticisms, Johnson managed to secure the backing of hardline Brexiteers within his party, leading to a more radical break with the EU than initially anticipated after the 2016 Brexit referendum.

On December 24, top EU officials signed the treaties in a symbolic ceremony, guaranteeing the UK tariff- and quota-free access to the EU market. The EU stressed the importance of looking ahead and beginning a new chapter in their relationship. The trade deal covers various aspects, including trade, transport, energy links, and fishing, and will become effective on January 1. After both sides have signed, the deal will be in place until the end of February, awaiting final approval by the European Parliament for permanent implementation.

As the UK officially exits the EU and enters a new phase of independence, the trade deal establishes a foundation for the future relationship between the two entities. The upcoming months will be crucial in ensuring a smooth implementation and addressing any challenges that may arise. Only time will reveal the impact of this historic agreement on the trajectory of the UK and the EU in the years to come.

Here are two useful links for more information on the topic:
– [Link 1: BBC News – UK Parliament Approves Brexit Trade Deal](https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-55463682)
– [Link 2: The Guardian – What’s in the UK-EU Brexit Trade Deal?](https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/24/whats-in-the-uk-eu-brexit-trade-deal)