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EU leaders congratulate Johnson, urge quick vote on withdrawal deal

The EU Leaders, who were in Brussels for an EU summit without Johnson on Friday (December 13), said they now wanted a quick divorce and to move on to talks on a free-trade accord with the EU, even if they are likely to be difficult.

A so-called orderly Brexit with a transition period is crucial for investors and businesses who fear a "no-deal" departure would disrupt trade and financial markets.

Leaders said the EU was ready to negotiate a free-trade agreement but called on London to work in good faith, underlining EU fears that Britain might try to reinvent itself as a low-regulation rival.