Britain announces disputed Brexit deal with EU

Pauline Gross
November 14, 2018

The British prime minister's office announced the tentative agreement Tuesday without offering further details about the deal hashed out with European Union negotiators in Brussels.

"Cabinet will meet at 2 pm tomorrow [local time] to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps", a spokesperson for No. 10 Downing Street told NPR on Tuesday.

Crucially, Northern Ireland's Democratic Union Party (DUP), who give May her majority in parliament, also threatened to reject a deal that leaves Britain tied too closely to the EU.

Yesterday, Mrs May's Brexit strategy came under attack from all sides, putting in doubt her ability to steer any agreement through parliament and raising the risk of a disruptive "no-deal" exit from the European Union next March.

Mrs May told the Cabinet in its regular Tuesday meeting that there remained a "small number" of outstanding issues to be resolved in the Brexit negotiations, but progress was being made.

Cabinet ministers were invited to read "documentation" concerning the deal overnight, in a secure reading room in the Cabinet Office.

The backstop is meant to ensure no matter what happens with the rest of the negotiations, there won't be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

If the deal is agreed by the Cabinet, a special Brexit summit will be held later this month. Labour has said it will oppose any agreement which fails to support jobs and the economy and leader Jeremy Corbyn has already said the draft "is unlikely to be a good deal for the country".

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The British government supplied no immediate details on the Brexit deal which runs to hundreds of pages.

And another Brexiteer former cabinet minister, John Whittingdale, said it was hard to see how Mrs May's premiership could continue if MPs rejected any Brexit deal she brought back to Parliament.

Earlier, Ms Mordaunt told Sky News: "The important thing is that there are two checks on this deal - there is Cabinet and there is Parliament".

Ireland's national broadcaster said the text was agreed late on Monday and then transmitted to London, quoting the sources as saying it was "as stable as it can be", but that it would be incorrect to say the Brexit negotiations had "concluded".

Former transport minister Jo Johnson said he chose to quit Mrs May's Government because he was concerned at reports she was planning a publicity campaign which he said amounted to a "calculated deceit". The reason they can't look us in the eye, it's because they know this will leave us worse-off and with less control.

In a statement published this evening, Foster said: "It would be democratically unacceptable for Northern Ireland trade rules to be set by Brussels".

"If what we've heard is true, this fails to meet the Conservative Party's manifesto, and it fails to meet numerous commitments the prime minister makes", Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of the hard-line leaders of the Brexit campaign, told the BBC.

Will the DUP support the deal?

Other reports by GizPress

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