03:50 GMT24 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom and the European Union are looking forward to the formal ratification of the post-Brexit trade deal and joint work on the issues of common interest, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday after holding a conversation with European Council President Charles Michel.

    "Just spoken with @eucopresident Charles Michel. I welcomed the importance of the UK/EU Agreement as a new starting point for our relationship, between sovereign equals. We looked forward to the formal ratification of the agreement and to working together on shared priorities, such as tackling climate change," Johnson tweeted.

    ​Earlier in the day, Germany's permanent representative Sebastian Fischer said that the EU ambassadors had approved the provisional application of the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal starting from 1 January 1.

    "Greenlight for #BrexitDeal: EU Ambassadors have unanimously approved the provisional application of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement as of January 1, 2021. Next step: Final adoption by the use of the written procedure. Deadline: Tomorrow, 15.00 hours," Fischer wrote on Twitter.

    ​On 24 December, just a week before the Brexit transition period expires, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached a post-Brexit trade deal, having agreed upon a spate of contentious issues, including fisheries, competition rules, and mechanisms to settle future trade disputes.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised the deal as fair and balanced, while UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it might not be a "cakeist treaty", but was still "what the country needs at this time".

    The PM noted that the deal will create a giant free trade zone starting from 1 January and raise the country's share of fishing quotas from around half to two-thirds in 5.5 years. Fishing rights had been among the thorniest issues in post-Brexit negotiations.

    Following the announcement of the deal, the FoodDrinkEurope confederation, the Copa and Cogeca interest group for European farmers, and the European Liaison Committee for Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade (CELCAA) called on the authorities to take urgent measures that include, among other things, the development of an effective transition phase, provision of human, technical, and financial resources to put in place the new customs and sanitary measures, as well as assurance of a continued formal communication channel between agri-food chain operators, on one side, and the European Commission and national authorities, on the other.

    Brexit, ambassador, Sebastian Fischer, European Union
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