17 Oct, 2019
© REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
UK and EU negotiators have finally agreed a Brexit deal and will now be put to the 27 leaders of the European Union to sign off. However critically, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) say they oppose the agreement.
President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced on Wednesday morning via Twitter that a “fair and balanced agreement” had been struck between the two sides. “I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal,” he added.
Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one!
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.
UK PM Boris Johnson also took to social media to reveal that a “great new deal that takes back control” had been brokered and urged the UK parliament to sign it off on Saturday when MPs convene to debate the agreement.
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
It’s not all good news though as the DUP, Johnson’s key allies who support his minority Tory government have responded by insisting that their opposition to the deal, as it stands, “hasn’t changed.”
In a statement published on social media earlier on Wednesday morning DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: “As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also criticized the new UK-EU Brexit deal, claiming that it was a “sell out” agreement that “won’t bring the country together and should be rejected.”
“The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote,” he added.
Johnson needs 320 UK lawmakers to back the deal to see it pass through the House of Commons, and so with the DUP and Labour looking like they’ll reject such a proposition, it appears he could struggle to get the required numbers.
It’s gearing up to be a highly momentous day in the UK parliament on Saturday if as expected, MPs convene to debate and vote on the deal. It would be the first Saturday sitting since 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands, and only the third since World War II.