EU ambassadors approve EU-UK trade deal

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Ambassadors from the 27 EU member states have unanimously approved the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal, paving the way for it to take effect.

The deal is likely to become law on 1 January, as the UK Parliament is expected to approve it on Wednesday.

Under EU rules it can take effect provisionally, though the European Parliament will vote on it in January.

The deal sets the framework for trade once the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union in four days’ time.

The deal, which ended nine months of negotiations, will be approved by all 27 EU governments in writing at 15:00 (14:00 GMT) on Tuesday, the German EU presidency said.

They have had three days to analyse the details of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement, since its publication. But most of the 1,246-page document had already been seen by member states in previous weeks.

The deal ends nearly 50 years of UK membership of the bloc, covering a vast array of policies besides those governing common trade rules.

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