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How political leaders reacted to the agreement on Brexit trade talks

The announcement came just before 7am.

As the European Commission said “sufficient progress” had been achieved in the first phase of Brexit talks, political leaders reacted swiftly online.

It came after Theresa May and David Davis made an early-hours journey to Brussels to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

Social media started to stir just after 6am, with Mr Juncker’s head of cabinet Martin Selmayr tweeting a photograph of white smoke gushing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel – the traditional way of signalling that a new Pope has been chosen.

Following the official announcement around 45 minutes later, Mrs May’s colleagues praised her efforts and negotiating skills.

But opposition politicians questioned the price of compromise and whether the deal struck between the UK and the European Commission would satisfy hardline Brexiteers.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the breakthrough but warned that the “devil is in the detail” of the deal.

But Ms Sturgeon’s mention of Scottish independence drew a stinging response from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was a “significant day” for Ireland.

EU officials and European leaders welcomed progress but said obstacles remain ahead.

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