The European Union and the United Kingdom have reached a historic agreement after months of negotiations, marking the end of the Brexit transition period. The agreement, formally known as the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), will govern the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

The TCA covers a wide range of areas, including trade, travel, security, and fisheries. It includes provisions for tariff-free and quota-free trade in goods, as long as they meet the agreed-upon rules of origin. The agreement also establishes a framework for cooperation in areas such as law enforcement, data protection, and civil nuclear cooperation.

One of the most contentious issues in the negotiations was fishing rights, with both sides seeking to protect their interests. Under the TCA, the UK will regain control of its waters, but EU fishing vessels will still have access to them for a transitional period of five and a half years. After that, annual negotiations will determine the amount of access EU vessels will have.

The TCA also contains provisions to protect workers` rights and the environment, including commitments to uphold high labor, social, and environmental standards. However, critics argue that the agreement falls short in these areas, with some environmental groups expressing concern that it does not go far enough to protect the natural world.

The TCA has been welcomed by both sides, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen describing it as a “fair and balanced agreement.” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed it as a “comprehensive Canada-style deal” that would allow the UK to “take back control” of its laws, borders, and waters.

The agreement has also been welcomed by businesses, as it provides much-needed certainty and stability after years of uncertainty during the Brexit process. However, there are still concerns about the impact of the new trading arrangements on businesses, particularly those that rely on just-in-time supply chains.

Overall, the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement represents a significant milestone in the history of the UK`s relationship with the EU. While there are still challenges ahead, such as implementing the agreement and managing the ongoing impact of Brexit, the agreement provides a framework for the future that both sides can work with.