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17 October 2019
ECONOMY

EU and UK reach agreement to put Brexit within Boris Johnson’s grasp

The withdrawal agreement was completed just in time for EU leaders to assess it when they meet in the Belgian capital.

PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON, UK PRIME MINISTER/BLOOMBERG


Negotiators from the UK reached an agreement with officials in Brussels that could pave the way for Britain to finally break 46 years of ties with the European Union this month, reported Bloomberg.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hailed the deal as fair and balanced. The deal now needs the backing of the UK Parliament, with a vote expected anytime over the weekend.

The Parliament vote is the final, treacherous hurdle for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to clear before he can complete his ambition of leading Britain out of the EU. Earlier after the announcement of the deal, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party signalled it did not accept key aspects of the agreement being drafted.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Johnson, said, “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control—now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment.”

Negotiators in Brussels and London this week have gone from optimism to dismay and back again, with the pound twitching at every murmur. The two sides pledged to establish a wide-ranging free trade agreement, reach a deal on services that goes beyond WTO levels as well as agree equivalence for financial services firms, allow free movement of capital and establish visa-free travel for short-term visits.

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters in Brussels that he believes the deal can be ratified by the end of October 2019.

Most importantly Johnson, who became the face of Brexit during the 2016 referendum campaign, needs to convince the DUP he is not selling them out and to persuade Brexit true-believers that this is a real separation rather than a pointless fudge.


RELATED STORIES: BREXIT EUROPEAN UNION UK PARLIAMENT

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