What We Know:
- After days of intense negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government and the European Union (EU) achieved a revised agreement that would take the United Kingdom (UK) out of the EU. The two sides had been at a stalemate for months, but they achieved a late breakthrough just two weeks before the Brexit deadline of October 31.
- Following the agreement, Johnson said, “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”.
- Although both the UK and the EU are signaling victory, this is definitely not a done deal yet. EU leaders have officially signed off but Johnson still needs to get it through a Parliament where he is lost his majority.
- In addition, the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) says that it will not be handing Johnson its 10 votes because they oppose this version of the Brexit deal.
- Originally, the ‘Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland’ made sure the border between Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (which is an EU member-state) remained free of infrastructure and physical checks on goods. The entire United Kingdom would have remained part of the EU customs union. This commitment was seen as vital to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
- However, now with this new plan the ‘Backstop’ would instead keep only Northern Ireland closely aligned with the EU rules and the country would still get to leave the EU customs union.
Passing this deal is just phase one of the Brexit chaos. The United Kingdom will also need to implement the deal into the law through legislation for Brexit to take place.