'Great' Brexit deal clinched ahead of EU summit, but problems remain
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Britain and the EU agreed a Brexit deal Thursday – hours ahead of an EU leaders summit in Brussels. But Northern Ireland's DUP remains opposed to the deal, which still needs the approval of the UK and European parliaments.
2.20pm: Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has tweeted: We have Brexit Agreement that allows UK leave EU in orderly way. We have unique solution for NI that respects unique history and geography. Its good for Ireland and NI. No hard border. All-island and East-West economy can continue thrive. Protects Single Market & our place in it."
2.10pm: DUP says it will oppose the Brexit deal because it "drives a coach and horses through the professed sanctity" of the Good Friday agreement.
"We have been consistent that we will only ever consider supporting arrangements that are in Northern Ireland’s long-term economic and constitutional interests and protect the integrity of the Union."
2.05pm: EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the new deal could be ratified before 31 October. He also confirmed the DUP would not have a veto on whether the new arrangements for Northern Ireland came into force.
1.40pm: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the deal. At a meeting of centrist leaders ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Macron said he was “reasonably confident it can be ratified by a vote of the British parliament”.
1.30pm: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon indicates the Brexit deal may be further justification for a new Scottish independence referendum.
"We support efforts to ensure peace and stability on the island of Ireland, in line with the Good Friday Agreement which must be respected. At the same time, it cannot be right that Scotland alone is facing an outcome it did not vote for ... it is clearer than ever that the best future for Scotland is one as an equal, independent European nation. That is a choice I am determined to ensure is given to the people of Scotland."
12.50pm: The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that Britain now agrees to pay its financial commitments to the EU, something which has been estimated at around 39 billion pounds (around 45,24 billion euros).
12.05pm: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says Johnson's deal is worse than the one negotiated by Theresa May and that "as it stands" his party will vote against it.
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 #GetBrexitDone #TakeBackControlBoris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 17, 2019
11.40pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "We've got a great new deal that takes back control,” calling on UK lawmakers to ratify the measure on Saturday.
11.40pm: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted: "We have one! It's a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions."
🇪🇺🤝🇬🇧 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 testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal. pic.twitter.com/7AfKyCZ6k9Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) October 17, 2019
Britain's ruling Conservatives do not have a majority in parliament and rely on unionst MPs in Northern Ireland.
Former Prime Theresa May failed three times to convince the DUP to back her text, before stepping down.
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