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‘We’ve got great new deal’: Boris Johnson declares Brexit agreement in place

Boris Johnson has claimed a “great new deal” has been done with the EU on Brexit, just hours after the DUP a..

By admin , in England , at October 17, 2019

Boris Johnson has claimed a "great new deal" has been done with the EU on Brexit, just hours after the DUP appeared to scupper his chances of getting anything through parliament.

Mr Johnson has been negotiating with EU officials ahead of a crunch summit to work out the details of his new proposals for Brexit, including solutions to the Irish border problem.

Earlier this morning his plans looked in jeopardy as the Democratic Union Party (DUP) who he relies on in the House of Commons, said they would not be supporting the Prime Minister's offer.

Image: Boris Johnson leaving Downing St as he travels to Brussels

But this did not dissuade Mr Johnson from continuing talks, and he announced he had a new deal to "get Brexit done".

He tweeted: "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."

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A spokesman for Mr Johnson said the deal gets rid of the backstop – the "insurance policy" to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland which saw Theresa May's version of the deal defeated several times in the House of Commons.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach tweeted: "We have #Brexit Agreement that allows UK leave EU in orderly way. We have unique solution for NI that respects unique history and geography. Its good for Ireland and NI. No hard border. All-island and East-West economy can continue thrive. Protects Single Market & our place in it."

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Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator on Brexit, agreed that the backstop had been removed, adding it was replaced with a new approach.

But almost immediately the DUP said their earlier statement "still stands", meaning Mr Johnson has no guarantees he will pass his plan in parliament this weekend.

In a new statement, after the deal was revealed, the DUP said: "The Democratic Unionist Party has worked since the referendum result to secure a negotiated deal as we leave the European Union. We have been consistent that we will only ever consider supporting arrangements that are in Northern Ireland's long-term economic and constitutional interests and protect the integrity of the Union.

"These proposals are not, in our view, beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland and they undermine the integrity of the Union. Our main route of trade on an East-West basis will be subject to rules of the European Union Customs Union, notwithstanding that Northern Ireland will remain part of the UK Customs territory.

"All goods would be subject to a customs check regime regardless of their final destination. The default position, even for goods travelling from one part of our country to another, is that they are considered under the EU Customs code unless otherwise agreed. We recognise that only those goods ultimately destined for the Republic of Ireland would be subject to tariffs but the reality remains that the EU would have a veto on which goods would be exempt and which would not under the Joint Committee arrangements.

"This is not acceptable within the internal borders of the United Kingdom."

????? Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one! Its 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. pic.twitter.com/7AfKyCZ6k9

— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) October 17, 2019

The party flagged the prospect of increased costs for consumers, and said while consent was a good move, there would be no opportunity for Stormont to approve the arrangements in the first place.

The statement added: "Saturday's vote in parliament on the proposals will only be the start of a long process to get any Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the House of Commons."

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn also said he would not back the deal, and called for a second referendum. He confirmed Labour would not bring a motion of no confidence against the government.

Sterling fell 0.5% to $1.2762 after the DUP statement, but news of a deal from the prime minister sent it back up 1%, to $1.29 dollars, a five-month high. It was up 0.5% against the Euro.

The Commons will sit on Saturday, the first weekend sitting in 37 years, to discuss the proposal following the EU summit in Brussels. The government will put forward the new agreement for a vote, which has the support of the cabinet.

President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted: "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."

In a letter he said it was "high time" to complete the divorce process and move on to negotiate the future relationship.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Steve Barclay departs from the rear exit of 10 Downing Street on October 17, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson travel to Brussels to attend his first EU Council Meeting today as he hopes to finalise the Brexit Deal. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Image: Brexit secretary Steve Barclay leaving Number 10 as he goes to Brussels

Mr Barnier said the deal on the table would last until the end of the transition agreement, which is due to finish at the end of 2020.

Mr Barnier said the UK had agreed to pay its financial commitments to the EU, estimated to be £39bn.

He said the EU and the UK were committed to protecting peace on the island of Ireland during the negotiations and avoiding a hard border.

He said: "This text should provide legal certainty in every area where Brexit, like any separation, creates uncertainty."

DUP leader Nigel Dodds speaking to journalists outside parliament
DUP refuse current government proposal leaving blow to PM

Mr Barnier said the wording of the agreement should not come as a surprise because much of it is the same as was put forward a year ago, but there are new elements on Ireland and Northern Ireland.

He said there would not be ratification of it in the upcoming EU summit.

Asked about whether Mr Johnson had assured him of support from the Commons, Mr Barnier said everyone there had done their jobs, and the Commons would have to take a decision.

He said: "Mr Johnson said to President Juncker this morning he has faith in his ability to convince the majority he needs in the House of Commons.

"He said based on this agreement and the explanations he intends to give, he has confidence in his ability to win that vote."

The news of a deal has been met with little support from political opponents of the prime minister in the UK.

The SNP's leader Nicola Sturgeon said her party's MPs would vote against the deal. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the deal should be rejected.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Dominic Cummings, senior advisor to Boris Johnson, departs from the rear exit of 10 Downing Street on October 17, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson travel to Brussels to attend his first EU Council Meeting today as he hopes to finalise the Brexit Deal. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Image: Dominic Cummings, senior adviser to Boris Johnson leaving Downing St before the summit

Labour leader Mr Corbyn said: "From what we know, it seems the prime minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May's, which was overwhelmingly rejected.

"These proposals risk triggering a race to the bottom on rights and protections: putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers' rights, and opening up our NHS to a takeover by US private corporations.

"This sell out deal 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."

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