EU and UK reach new Brexit deal

Published: 17 Oct 2019   

Online Desk

A Brexit deal has been agreed between the UK and EU before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels.

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker called it a "fair" outcome - and the EU Commission President said there was no need to extend the Brexit deadline, reports BBC.

He said: "We have a deal so why should we have a prolongation."

This will be a boost for the PM, but he still faces a battle to get the deal through Parliament with ex-allies the DUP opposing it.

Johnson has insisted the UK will leave the EU on October 31 and he urged MPs to "come together to get Brexit done and get this excellent deal over the line".

He added: "Now is the moment for us to get Brexit done and then together to work on building our future partnership, which I think can be incredibly positive both for the UK and for the EU."

Brexit should happen "without any more delay", he added, so that the government could turn its attentions to domestic priorities.

The two sides worked round-the-clock on the legal text of the deal, but it will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments.

In a statement, the Democratic Unionist Party, which the government relies on for support in key votes, said: "These proposals are not, in our view, beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland and they undermine the integrity of the Union."

They added: "Saturday's vote in Parliament on the proposals will only be the start of a long process to get any Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the House of Commons."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the deal sounded "even worse" than what was negotiated by the PM's predecessor, Theresa May, and "should be rejected" by MPs.

MPs have voted to hold an extra sitting in the Commons on Saturday to discuss the next steps.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the government would hold a vote on the deal.

He said he was "not contemplating defeat", but if the plan did not get the backing of MPs, the alternative was leaving without a deal.

The DUP has been in an agreement with the Conservative Party since the 2017 election, which, in the past, gave the government a working majority.

But after resignations and the removal of the party whip from more than 20 Tory MPs in recent weeks, Johnson now could face a tough battle to get his deal through Parliament.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he and Juncker had been told by the PM "he has faith in his ability to convince the majority he needs in the House of Commons".

MPs passed a law in September that requires the PM to request an extension on 19 October if Parliament has not agreed a deal or backed leaving without a deal by that date.


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