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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrates reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. Photo via Downing Street

The historic post-Brexit trade deal reached between Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government and the European Union was signed into U.K. law by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday morning.

Why it matters: The law will come into effect at 11pm Thursday U.K. time when the Brexit transition period officially ends.

  • The House of Commons voted 521 to 73 on Wednesday in favor of the bill, which was approved by the U.K. House of Lords later that night — marking the last major hurdle needed to implement the deal.

The state of play: Johnson's government was criticized for giving Parliament just days to scrutinize one of the most significant pieces of legislation in decades, but even members of the opposition Labour Party ended up voting for the agreement in order to stave off a potentially catastrophic "no-deal" Brexit.

  • The deal, which fundamentally reshapes the U.K.'s relationship with its closest and largest trading partner, will now go to receive royal assent and becoming law.
  • European heads of state came out in support of the deal earlier this week, while the European Parliament plans to scrutinize the agreement and officially vote on it after Jan. 1 — though it will be applied on a provisional basis in the meantime.

Go deeper: U.K. and EU reach historic post-Brexit trade deal

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details of the House of Lords vote and the signing of the bill into law.

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - World

Iran lays out "road map" for nuclear talks with Biden

Khamenei earlier this month. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Iran has been accumulating bargaining chips and laying out its strategy for engagement with Joe Biden, who arrives in office promising to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear deal if Iran returns to compliance.

Why it matters: Recent statements from Iran's leaders indicate that they're willing to strike such a deal. But the sides differ over who will have to make the first move, and when.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.