PM Theresa May has struck a deal with the EU in a bid to move Brexit talks on to the next phase. The initial reaction to the deal is that it will not cost as much as originally anticipated and the divorce bill will be around £35 billion.
At 5:00 am Downing Street officially confirmed that Theresa May had struck a deal, giving the Prime Minister something to smile about after one of her toughest weeks.
The Prime Minister has achieved what she wanted – The plans that were put in place for a middle of the night and the green light to move on to phase 2. Had she not achieved this milestone, she was in deep political trouble.
What has been agreed?
- Guarantee that there will be “no hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic maintaining “constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom”
- EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa will have their rights to live, work and study protected
- Financial settlement – no specific figure but broad agreement on principles
The terms are still a little unclear but we have a road map
There will be no “hard border” with Ireland; and EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, will see their rights protected.
Details are still sketchy but the so-called “divorce bill” will amount to between £35bn and is at least £15bn less than we originally expected.
The European Commission president said it was a “breakthrough” and he was confident EU leaders will approve it.
EU citizens in the UK would have their rights enshrined in UK law and enforced by British courts. The European Court of Justice will continue to have a role in overseeing their rights for eight years after Brexit, a move which may concern some Brexiteers. Guarantees will also apply to UK citizens living in other EU countries.
The deal still needs to be agreed by Brussels who are due to meet next Thursday for a European Council summit and need to give their backing to the deal if post-Brexit trade talks are to begin.
The UK will then have about a year to hammer out an agreement on future relations, which will have to be ratified by the EU nations and the UK Parliament, before the UK leaves in March 2019.
The joint report agreed by Mrs May and Mr Juncker states, that if a trade deal cannot be agreed, the UK will maintain “full alignment” with elements of the EU single market and customs union mentioned in the Good Friday agreement.
As the news broke the pound was trading at a six-month high against the Euro. And the focus can now move onto the trade talks.
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