EU and UK say they have reached a deal on Brexit | Fin24

EU and UK say they have reached a deal on Brexit

Oct 17 2019 11:54
Nikos Chrysoloras, Thomas Penny and Tim Ross, Bloomberg

The European Union and UK have reached a historic Brexit deal, paving the way for Britain’s departure from the European Union after three years of negotiations. The pound rallied and UK stocks turned higher.

The withdrawal agreement was completed just in time for EU leaders to assess it when they gather for summit talks in the Belgian capital later in the day. The deal then needs to win the backing of the UK Parliament on Saturday.

That’s the final, treacherous hurdle for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to clear before he can complete his ambition of leading Britain out of the EU. Hanging over is the prospect of a veto from the Democratic Unionist Party, the Northern Irish group he needs to get the deal approved.

“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,” Johnson wrote on Twitter

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, tweeted that the deal was "fair and balanced". 

Pull it off, and Johnson will draw a line under three years of political turmoil since the UK voted to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc. That journey has strained its relationship with historic allies, soured the political debate at home, and tested the patience of voters.

Negotiators in Brussels and London this week have gone from optimism to dismay and back again, with the pound twitching at every murmur. Now, at last, all those predictions about the costs or benefits of Brexit may be put to the test.

At the very least, businesses and travellers will be spared the inevitable disruption that would have been triggered by Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal. For both sides, the agreement is a chance to move their political agendas on and to start focusing on their future trading relationship.

But first there’s the task of securing the backing of the House of Commons, where Johnson has no majority and has lost a string of crucial votes since taking office in July.

South Africa secured a trade deal with the UK in September in case of a no deal Brexit. 

* Additional reporting by Fin24. 

boris johnson  |  uk  |  eu  |  uk economy  |  brexit


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