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EU approves UK's withdrawal as “the best and only possible deal”; Parliament is to vote early December

Monday, November 26th 2018 - 07:15 UTC
Full article 7 comments
Theresa May said the deal “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”. Theresa May said the deal “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”.
EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said anyone in Britain who thought the bloc might offer improved terms if MPs rejected the deal would be “disappointed” EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said anyone in Britain who thought the bloc might offer improved terms if MPs rejected the deal would be “disappointed”
European Council President Donald Tusk said he would not speculate on what would happen in such a situation, saying: “I am not a fortune teller.” European Council President Donald Tusk said he would not speculate on what would happen in such a situation, saying: “I am not a fortune teller.”
The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in early December, but its approval is far from guaranteed. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in early December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.

EU leaders have approved an agreement on the UK's withdrawal and future relations - insisting it is the “best and only deal possible”. After 20 months of negotiations, the 27 leaders gave the deal their blessing after less than an hour's discussion.

 They said the deal - which needs to be approved by the UK Parliament - paved the way for an “orderly withdrawal”.

Theresa May said the deal “delivered for the British people” and set the UK “on course for a prosperous future”.

Speaking in Brussels, she urged both Leave and Remain voters to unite behind the agreement, insisting the British public “do not want to spend any more time arguing about Brexit”.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The EU officially endorsed the terms of the UK's withdrawal during a short meeting, bringing to an end negotiations which began in March 2017.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said anyone in Britain who thought the bloc might offer improved terms if MPs rejected the deal would be “disappointed”.

But European Council President Donald Tusk, who broke the news of the agreement on Twitter, said he would not speculate on what would happen in such a situation, saying: “I am not a fortune teller.”

The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in early December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.

Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Conservatives MPs are set to vote against. Mrs. May has appealed to the public to get behind the agreement, saying that although it involved compromises it was a “good deal that unlocks a bright future for the UK”.

At a news conference in Brussels, she said the agreement would: end freedom of movement “in full and once and for all”; protect the constitutional integrity of the UK, and ensure a return to “laws being made in our country by democratically elected politicians interpreted and enforced by British courts”.

The agreement, she added, would not remove Gibraltar from the “UK family” - a reference to a last-minute wrangle with Spain over the territory.

The EU leaders have approved the two key Brexit documents:
 The EU withdrawal agreement: a 599-page, legally binding document setting out the terms of the UK's exit from the EU. It covers the UK's £39bn “divorce bill”, citizens' rights and the Northern Ireland “backstop” - a way to keep the Irish border open, if trade talks stall
 The political declaration, which sets out what the UK and EU's relationship may be like after Brexit - outlining how things like UK-EU trade and security will work

There was no formal vote on Sunday, with the EU proceeding by consensus.

Mr Juncker said it was a “sad day” and no-one should be “raising champagne glasses” at the prospect of the UK leaving.

While it was not his place to tell MPs how to vote, he said they should bear in mind that “this is the best deal possible...this is the only deal possible”.

His message was echoed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar who said “any other deal really only exists in people's imagination”.

But Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite suggested there were a number of possible outcomes if the UK Parliament rejected the deal, including an extension of the negotiations, or another referendum.

 

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    Total 'Remainer' stitch up evidenced by the solid wall of Euro despots chanting ”theres no other deal” and foolish Macaroni and that Spaniard hissing vieled threats about fishing and Gib.

    Time to stop wasting time , call their bluff and just leave' inserting earplugs to silence their squeals of anguish.

    Nov 26th, 2018 - 02:44 pm 0
  • golfcronie

    Just tell the EU we are leaving and they will not get the £ 39 billion, then let them scream.

    Nov 26th, 2018 - 10:39 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    The only bluff that's been called is JRM's, and that was a big load of nothing.

    What happened to 'Germany will give us a deal because of their car manufacturers'? And 'they export more to us than we do to them'? The Brexiters said the EU were just trying to scare us into voting remain and we could easily get a better deal. The Brexiters were lying.

    Nov 27th, 2018 - 07:40 am 0
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