Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Nation & World

UK and EU reach outline Brexit deal; still needs ratification

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that the two sides had struck a “great new deal” and urged U.K. lawmakers to ratify it in a special session on Saturday.
Protesters from the Border Communities Against Brexit group hold a demonstration on the Irish border on the Republic of Ireland side close to the town of Jonesborough, Ireland, Wednesday, Oct. 16 , 2019. The Border Communities Against Brexit group organised various protests at many points across the border region Wednesday. [PETER MORRISON | AP]
Published Oct. 17

BRUSSELS — Britain and the European Union said Thursday that they have struck an outline Brexit deal after days of intense see-saw negotiations — though it must still be formally approved by the bloc and ratified by the European and U.K. Parliaments.

Hours before a summit of all 28 EU national leaders, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted: “We have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is a testament to our commitment to find solutions.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that the two sides had struck a "great new deal" and urged U.K. lawmakers to ratify it in a special session on Saturday.

Immediately complicating matters was Johnson's Northern Irish government allies which didn't waste a minute to say they could not back the outline deal because of provisions for the Irish border.

Johnson needs all the support he can get to push any deal past a deeply divided Parliament and will surely temper jubilation at the EU summit. The UK parliament already rejected a previous deal three times.

Technical negotiators struggled the longest to finetune customs and sales tax regulations that will have to manage trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland — where the U.K. and the EU share their only land border.

After months of gloom over the stalled Brexit process, European leaders have sounded upbeat this week. French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that "I want to believe that a deal is being finalized," while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said negotiations were "in the final stretch."

They were proven right on Thursday.

Upon the news, the pound hit a five-month high upon the U.S. dollar.

Johnson — who took office in July vowing Britain would finally leave the EU on Oct. 31, come what may — likened Brexit to climbing Mount Everest.

He will have to climb some more to get the Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party on board. DUP leader Arlene Foster and the party's parliamentary chief Nigel Dodds said they "could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues," referring to a say the Northern Irish authorities might have in future developments.

The party said the position was unchanged after the announcement of the provisional deal.

Both the customs and consent arrangements are key to guaranteeing an open border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland — the main obstacle to a Brexit deal.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks during a press conference at the COP25 climate talks summit in Madrid, Monday. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas) ANDREA COMAS  |  AP
    Democrats are charging toward a Christmastime vote on removing the 45th president.
  2. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Robb Chadwick speaks to the media at the main gate at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Wednesday, in Hawaii, following a shooting. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia) MARCO GARCIA  |  AP
    It wasn’t known if the sailor and the three male civilians had any type of relationship, or what the motive was for the shooting.
  3. Constitutional law expert and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, on the on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) SUSAN WALSH  |  AP
    The House Judiciary Committee is moving swiftly to weigh findings by fellow lawmakers that the President misused the power of his office for personal political gain.
  4. In this Aug. 28, 2014, photo, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko makes a statement, at Boryspil airport in Kiev, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Mikhail Palinchak)
    Taking a closer look at what the story does — and doesn’t — show about Ukraine’s involvement in 2016.
  5. U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport in England, Monday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) EVAN VUCCI  |  AP
    The findings that will serve as the foundation for debate over whether the 45th president should be removed from office.
  6. In this Nov. 20, 2019 file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    Harris was once considered a front-runner in the crowded Democratic field.
  7. President Donald Trump meets French President Emmanuel Macron at Winfield House, Tuesday, in London. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) EVAN VUCCI  |  AP
    The U.S. President began his first of two days at the NATO conference by harshly rebuking Emmanuel Macron.
  8. A police officer confronted an armed student at a Wisconsin high school Tuesday morning and both were wounded, police said. Facebook
    The shooting follows a similar attack at Waukesha South High School in suburban Milwaukee on Monday morning.
  9. Lisa R. Snyder is led from the Berks County, Pa. State Police Barracks in Hamburg, Pa., Monday, following her arraignment for murder charges in the September hanging deaths of two of her children in their Albany Township, Berks County, home. (Bill Uhrich/Reading Eagle via AP) BILL UHRICH  |  AP
    As she was arrested, Lisa Snyder insisted that her son, Conner, was bullied at school and took his own life and that of his sister, Brinley.
  10. U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House in London, Tuesday. US President Donald Trump will join other NATO heads of state at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday to mark the NATO Alliance's 70th birthday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) EVAN VUCCI  |  AP
    The President criticized Democrats for holding an impeachment hearing while he is abroad.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement