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Saturday 29.02.2020 | Name days:

Fragile, new Brexit deal reached between EU and UK

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British Prime Minister

In the European Union’s negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, a new agreement has been reached on the day a decisive EU summit commenced in Brussels.

British public broadcaster BBC reports, however, that the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, which has been a key partner of UK’s ruling Conservative Party, has stated they could not back the new proposals.

Labour, the main opposition party in the British Parliament, also signalled criticism with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn saying the deal sounded «even worse» than what was negotiated by the PM’s predecessor, Theresa May, and «should be rejected» by MPs.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: «We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control.»

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was also positive about the agreement and commented it was a «fair and balanced agreement».

Both he and Boris Johnson have urged their respective parliaments to back the deal.

Content of the new deal

Mr Johnson’s proposals for a new Brexit deal hinged on getting rid of the controversial backstop – the solution negotiated between Theresa May and the EU to solve issues around the Irish border after the UK leaves.

Read also: Deal or extension? Last day of Brexit talks on before decisive EU summit

By removing it, he hoped to secure the support of Brexiteers in his own party and the DUP – which could hold the key to getting the numbers for a successful vote in the Commons.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, explained the new deal rests on four main elements, that:

– Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of EU rules, notably related to goods;

– Northern Ireland will remain in the UK’s customs territory, but will “remain an entry point” into the EU’s single market

–  There is an agreement to maintain the integrity of the single market and satisfy the UK’s VAT concerns

– Northern Ireland representatives will be able to decide whether to continue applying union rules in Northern Ireland or not every four years.


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