“From what we know, it seems the Prime Minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May’s, which was overwhelmingly rejected. This sell-out deal won’t bring the country together and should be rejected. The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote,” Jeremy Corbyn said.
Britain clinched a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, but still faced a challenge in getting it approved by parliament. “Where there is a will there is a deal – 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,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a tweet a few hours before an EU summit in Brussels. He said he would recommend that leaders of the other 27 member states approve the deal. “I believe it is high time to complete the divorce process and move on, as swiftly as possible, to the negotiation on the European Union’s future partnership with the United Kingdom,” Juncker said in an attached letter. Separately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal”. Johnson is hoping to get approval for the agreement in a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31. However, the Northern Irish party that Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement has refused to support the deal that was hammered out over weeks of negotiations. The head of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said in Brussels he was “unhappy” with the deal and would vote against it. Lawmakers in his party said they had been told to vote for another referendum on Saturday. STERLING SURGES Nevertheless, sterling surged more
Britain’s latest proposal for an agreement on the terms of its divorce from the European Union has been widely rebuffed in Brussels because it does not meet the objectives of the so-called Irish border backstop. Below is an explanation of the backstop Britain agreed with Brussels in 2018, the new plan proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and why EU officials think it falls short: WHAT’S THE BACKSTOP? Now, there are no border checks or infrastructure between the UK province of Northern Ireland and Ireland as both are in the EU’s single market customs and regulatory arrangements. The backstop in the 2018 Brexit deal was designed to prevent a hard border being introduced on the island of Ireland when Britain leaves the EU – whatever trade deal was eventually agreed between London and Brussels. It envisaged that the United Kingdom would remain bound by some EU rules if no other way is found to keep the border between the British province and Ireland invisible. Maintaining a frictionless border was a key part of the 1998 Good Friday agreement between London and Dublin to end 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland. WHY DIDN’T THAT WORK? Pro-Brexit lawmakers objected to the 2018 deal, saying the backstop would tie Britain to the EU come what may, leaving the country overseen by EU judges and preventing it from striking trade deals around the world. Parliament’s rejection of the deal forced then-Prime Minister Theresa May from office. WHAT’S THE NEW PLAN? Johnson’s new proposal
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday cautioned that there would be no Brexit breakthrough at talks with European leaders in New York as gaps remained but said significant progress had been made on striking a deal. Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU, hopes of a breakthrough were stoked last week when Johnson said the shape of a deal on Britain’s departure from the European Union was emerging, and European Commission President Juncker said agreement was possible. But the two sides are split over London’s desire to remove the Irish border “backstop” from the divorce deal struck by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. EU diplomats say no acceptable alternative has been proposed yet by London. Johnson, who has vowed to deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 with or without a deal, will meet EU leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. He will also discuss progress on reaching a Brexit deal with European Council President Donald Tusk. “I would caution you all not to think that this is going to be the moment,” Johnson told reporters on the plane to New York. “I don’t wish to elevate excessively the belief that there will be a New York breakthrough.” Johnson said that while a “great deal” of progress had been made since he took office in July as EU leaders now acknowledged the Withdrawal Agreement reached with his predecessor needed to be changed, there