The European Commission president quoted Shakespeare as she bid farewell to the UK announcing a trade deal had been struck.
‘Parting is such sweet sorrow,’ she said, telling a press conference that she felt no joy at reaching a deal, only relief. She said: ‘We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it.
‘It is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides.’ Ms von der Leyen concluded: ‘At the end of a successful negotiations journey, I normally feel joy.
‘I know this is a difficult day for some. ‘To our friends in the UK, I want to say: parting is such sweet sorrow. ‘But to use a line from TS Eliot: what we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning. ‘
So to all the Europeans, I say: It is time to leave Brexit behind, our future is made in Europe.’ She also tweeted: ‘It was worth fighting for this deal.
We now have a fair & balanced agreement with the UK. It will protect our EU interests, ensure fair competition & provide predictability for our fishing communities. ‘Europe is now moving on.’ / metro / The Independent