Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Europe endorses Brexit deal and urges UK MPs to back it

North Ireland's DUP says it cannot support Brexit deal as it stands UK PM Boris Johnson tweets ‘great’ new Brexit deal with EU
Russell Knight | 18 October, 2019, 02:58

Both sides said they were close to finding a basis for a treaty to ensure Britain heads for a managed withdrawal from the European bloc it has been part of for almost half a century.

It came as British and EU negotiators worked late into the night in the hopes of presenting a last-minute Brexit deal to leaders meeting for a European summit. Johnson's Northern Irish allies, the Democratic Unionist Party, have also rejected the deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the country out of the European Union on October 31 and said Thursday's agreement means no new delay is necessary.

The head of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was "unhappy" with the agreement and would vote against it.

News that a deal is edging closer saw the British pound surge to above $1.29 for the first time since May.

The leader of Britain's pro-Europe Liberal Democrats said the party is determined to halt the Brexit process despite the new divorce deal brokered by London and Brussels.

In order to get his deal through Parliament, Mr Johnson will now need the backing of a significant number of Labour MPs, as well as the 21 former Conservatives who were expelled from the party after voting to block no deal.

However, British lawmakers have passed legislation that they say would force a Brexit delay rather than a no-deal Brexit. Earlier this week, a USA firm pulled out of its major investment in a new United Kingdom film and TV studio in East London citing uncertainty over the UK's relationship with the EU.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage urged the UK Parliament to reject the new deal.

Asked what he would do if Parliament votes the plan down and Britain seeks an extension, European Council President Donald Tusk said he would consult the other 27 EU nations in order to reach a decision - leaving open the prospect of an extension.

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And the deal gives Northern Ireland a say over the rules, something that was missing from May's previous rejected agreement. For Chancellor Angela Merkel , "the fact that the Irish prime minister is rather happy here, is a very important sign".

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"I traded bonds markets for 20 years and I've never seen anything like this", he said.

According to EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Northern Ireland will comply with some European Union rules on goods and will remain in the United Kingdom customs territory.

To the names of Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, Michael Davitt, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, John Hume, and Martin McGuinness, we must now consider adding an improbable one: Boris Johnson.

The Johnson government is already in a minority, but lost 21 more Conservative MPs in September when they voted against the government on a motion to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

Many people anxious a no-deal Brexit would cause serious damage to the British economy.

All sides agree they do not want infrastructure on the frontier, to avoid exacerbating tensions over Britain's control of Northern Ireland that caused decades of deadly violence up until the 1990s.

Mr Johnson had already also accepted that Northern Ireland will remain in the EU's single market for goods.

Instead, Javid said parliament had to understand that the plan would end the uncertainty that has dogged the world's fifth-biggest economy since voters chose to leave the European Union more than three years ago.

Northern Ireland's regional assembly will be given a vote every four years on whether to maintain the arrangements, but the DUP warned that did not go far enough.

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