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EU leaders endorse Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

17 October 2019, 19:31 CET
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EU leaders endorse Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Johnson - Macron - Merkel - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - "We've got a great new deal that takes back control," said British prime minister Johnson after EU leaders at a summit Thursday endorsed a revised UK withdrawal agreement and political declaration.

The agreement follows intense negotiations between the Commission and UK negotiators during the last few days, but he EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he believed they had found "solutions that fully respect the integrity of the Single Market. We created a new and legally operative solution to avoid a hard border, and protect peace and stability on the island of Ireland. It is a solution that works for the EU, for the UK and for people and businesses in Northern Ireland."

The breakthrough came, said Council president Donald Tusk, because of Ireland's positive assessment, and because of "Prime Minister Johnson's acceptance to have customs checks at the points of entry into Northern Ireland. This compromise will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the Single Market."

"We've got a great new deal that takes back control," said British prime minister Boris Johnson: "now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday."

Before the Withdrawal Agreement can enter into force, it needs to be ratified by the EU and the UK.

The UK's Parliament is expected to vote on Mr Johnson's deal in the House of Commons on Saturday, though Northern Ireland's DUP party has already voiced its opposition to it. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of protesters are expected to demonstrate outside Parliament against Brexit and in favour of giving the public the final say in a 'People's Vote'.

The new agreement offers in a revised Protocol a legally operational solution that avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland, protects the all-island economy and the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions and safeguards the integrity of the Single Market. According to the Commission, this solution 'responds to the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland with the aim of protecting peace and stability'.

All other elements of the Withdrawal Agreement remain unchanged in substance, as per the agreement reached on 14 November last year. The Withdrawal Agreement brings legal certainty where the UK's withdrawal from the EU created uncertainty: citizens' rights, the financial settlement, a transition period at least until the end of 2020, governance, Protocols on Gibraltar and Cyprus, as well as a range of other separation issues.

In the revised Political Declaration, in terms of regulations, Northern Ireland is set to 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 ("SPS rules"), rules on agricultural production/marketing, VAT and excise in respect of goods, and state aid rules.

In terms of customs, the EU-UK Single Customs Territory, as agreed in November 2018, has been removed from the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, at the request of the current UK government. EU and UK negotiators have now found a new way to achieve the goal of avoiding a customs border on the island of Ireland, while at the same time ensuring Northern Ireland remains part of the UK's customs territory. This agreement fully protects the integrity of the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, and avoids any regulatory and customs checks at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Finally, the EU and the UK have agreed to create a new mechanism on 'consent', which will give the Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly a decisive voice on the long-term application of relevant EU law in Northern Ireland. The Commission has been in close contact with the Irish government on this point.

In the revised Political Declaration, the main change in the Political Declaration relates to the future EU-UK economic relationship where the current UK government has opted for a model based on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Political Declaration provides for an ambitious FTA with zero tariffs and quotas between the EU and the UK. It states that robust commitments on a level playing field should ensure open and fair competition. The precise nature of commitments will be commensurate with the ambition of the future relationship and take into account the economic connectedness and geographic proximity of the UK.

For the EU, the Council of the European Union must authorise the signature of the Withdrawal Agreement, before sending it to the European Parliament for its consent. The United Kingdom must ratify the agreement according to its own constitutional arrangements.

Special European Council Conclusions

What has the EU agreed with the UK? - background guide

Revised texts for protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland

Revised political declaration

UK unilateral declaration on consent

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EU leaders endorse Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Posted by kushal kumar at 19 October 2019, 00:50 CET
News media world over was much spirited over a news - a new Brexit deal has been reached at last on 17 October , 2019 between EU and British PM Boris Johnson. However , the new Brexit deal would require to be first ratified by the British Parliament and thereafter by EU Parliament. So , the news is great but there appear to be political tough time ahead before the new Brexit deal attains finality. Whatever , this Vedic astrology writer had a point to rejoice when the news came. Readers are aware of this wrter’s predictive alerts through article - “ World trends from April to August 2019” - brought to public domain in March and subsequently on 5 April 2019. In short , among other things , the predictive alert related to the news here was that more care and appropriate strategy was called for in relation to Brexit deal during mid-April to August 2019 because obstructive concern looked to be there. A predictive alert carried out by this writer later in May had suggested that the need for more care and appropriate strategy in the said matter may reach out to mid-October 2019. As the new Brexit deal between EU and British PM Boris Johnson was reached on 17 October , 2019 , it can be said that the predictive alert of this writer was somewhere meaningful.