Economy

EU Leaders Endorse Brexit Deal, Sending It to UK Parliament

At the heart of the new agreement is a new protocol on Northern Ireland under which the province will remain aligned to single market rules on goods with applicable tariffs to take place at the point of entry into NI, and United Kingdom authorities in charge of applying the EU's customs code.

After the deal was announced, Johnson joined the EU's 27 other leaders at a summit in Brussels, shaking each by the hand as he entered the room and laughing and joking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Faced with the alternative, we would rather (have) a very short extension so there could be a general election, and a Leave alliance could win a thumping majority and then leave on a clean-break Brexit because we would then have the numbers in the House of Commons".

That's important as it means we could be a step closer to getting Brexit done. "I recommend that [EU summit] endorses this deal".

If members vote to come out of the European Union arrangements there would be a two-year cooling off period before that happened.

The deal, which would go into effect for the current Brexit deadline of October 31, reportedly undoes the hardest sticking point of negotiations, what to do with the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, by allowing goods to flow through the border after crossing through customs over the Irish Sea.

Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg, said Juncker's comments "on balance probably raises the chances for Boris Johnson to get a deal through" by convincing some opposition legislators that backing the plan is the only way to avoid a risky "no-deal" split. But the arithmetic is not easy or straightforward for him.

They also might not support a deal without the DUP's support (see below).

The leader of the centre-right European People's party grouping, Manfred Weber, said it would, before approving the deal, "closely scrutinise the details".

The Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the government would also hold a vote on the deal.

But Juncker appeared to rule out any new postponement, leaving British lawmakers with a simple choice: deal, no deal or revoke Brexit.

He told a press conference that "citizens have always been, and will remain, the EU's priority". No EU tariff will apply to personal goods either.

The EU-UK Single Customs Territory has been removed from the Irish protocol, at the request of the UK government, while avoiding any regulatory and customs checks at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of rules related to the EU's Single Market in order to avoid a hard border - legislation on goods, sanitary rules for veterinary controls, rules on agricultural production/marketing, Value-Added Tax and excise in respect of goods, and state aid rules.

"Northern Ireland can not become a huge dumping zone and tax haven", she said. The DUP said the proposals were not "beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland" and they "undermine the integrity of the Union", the party said in a statement on Twitter.

Johnson has no majority in the 650-seat parliament, and in practice needs at least 318 votes to get a deal ratified.

Parliament defeated a previous deal struck by Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, three times.

He refused to be drawn on the likelihood of the deal passing through the British parliament. All but a handful of those ERG members are thought to be ready to give their support to Johnson's deal.



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