Speed Reads

eleventh hour

U.K., EU reach historic Brexit trade deal

Britain and the European Union reached a historic post-Brexit trade deal Thursday, avoiding a "potentially disastrous no-deal scenario" and leaving lawmakers optimistic on trading conditions heading into the new year.

The deal, which comes nearly a year after Britain stopped being a full member of the EU and four years after Brexit was voted upon, began discussions last March, and negotiators have since endured "significant clashes over fishing, competition rules, and the governance of their new relationship." The decision comes in the 11th hour, with the final deadline set for Dec. 31.

Thanks to the agreement, exporters will likely face lower tariffs and costs, CNBC reports. The deal will now head to the British and European Parliaments in the coming weeks for ratification.