Brexit: EU and UK Agree on New Deal

  • "Where there is a will, there is a deal - we have one," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted.
  • Juncker and Johnson urged their parliamentarians to back the deal.
  • The Democratic Unionist Party questioned the possibility of approving the deal, saying it could not support it.

The European Union and the UK negotiating teams have reached an agreement for Britain to leave the EU at a meeting in Brussels. “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,”  Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a tweet.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland favoring British identity. It was founded in 1971 during the Troubles by Ian Paisley, and campaigned against the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973, the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985, and the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

“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,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also tweeted. Negotiators of the two sides have recently revised the legal text of the agreement, but it still needs to be approved by the British and European parliaments.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office at 10 Downing Street said that Johnson would ask union leaders to reject any requests for an extension of the Brexit deadline of October 31. In September, lawmakers approved a law requiring the prime minister to extend the October 19 deadline if parliament rejects the agreement, or refuses to leave the country without an agreement by then.

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the Conservative Party in parliament, questioned the possibility of approving the deal, saying it could not support it. The DUP issued a statement earlier in which it said it could not support the agreement, “in its current state,” adding after Johnson’s announcement that the statement was still in place.

Juncker and Johnson urged their parliamentarians to back the deal. Johnson’s proposals for a new agreement were contingent on the resolution of the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the European Union. The deal the former prime minister, Theresa May, reached with the EU planned to resolve border issues after Britain left the EU.

The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement, was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Issues relating to sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, decommissioning of weapons, demilitarisation, justice, and policing were central to the agreement.

By seeking to shun the issue, Johnson sought to win support for Brexit in his Conservative Party and for DUP members, whose votes may be a decisive factor in securing parliament’s approval of the deal. The new plan, in the proposed deal, could lead to Northern Ireland being treated differently from the rest of the UK, something that worries the DUP and others.

Eаrlіеr thіѕ wееk, thе EU’s chief negotiator Michel Bаrnіеr ѕаіd a deal wоuld bе “vеrу, vеrу dіffісult but роѕѕіblе.” Bеfоrе Tuеѕdау’ѕ mееtіng оf EU mіnіѕtеrѕ, hе ѕаіd it wаѕ time Lоndоn “turnеd gооd іntеntіоnѕ іntо a legal tеxt.”

Bоrіѕ Jоhnѕоn hаd рrеvіоuѕlу ѕаіd hе wаntеd to rеасh a Brexit dеаl at an EU summit оn Thursday and Friday tо аllоw fоr аn orderly departure on Oсtоbеr 31. Thе main рrоblеm rеmаіnѕ thе bоrdеr between Irеlаnd and Nоrthеrn Irеlаnd аnd hоw tо prevent іt becoming a backdoor into thе EU аftеr Brexit.

A bоrdеr оn thе island соuld undеrmіnе the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that hеlреd end three dесаdеѕ оf sectarian violence.  Thеrе іѕ said tо be frustration іn Bruѕѕеlѕ that a dеаl could bе thrеаtеnеd bу the dоmеѕtіс роlіtісаl ѕіtuаtіоn іn thе UK— аѕ happened with Jоhnѕоn’ѕ рrеdесеѕѕоr when her gоvеrnmеnt was nеgоtіаtіng wіth the EU.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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