After “just” three years, a Brexit deal has been reached.
The new agreement will be put to a vote in Parliament on Saturday, Boris Johnson’s spokeswoman Alison Donnelly told reporters Thursday.
The relevant documents can be found below, but the broad strokes of the proposal and political declaration are as follows:
- Proposal covers transition period, including financial commitments.
- Covers legal operative solution in withdrawal agreement to avoid hard border in Ireland.
- Northern Ireland will remain aligned to limited set of EU rules, notably related to goods.
- UK customs officials will be in charge of application of EU customs rules in Northern Ireland.
- Northern Ireland will remain an entry point to EU single market.
- UK can apply tariffs coming from third countries, so long as goods not at risk of entering EU market.
- EU and UK committed to protect stability in Ireland.
- Transition period to December 2020 if deal accepted; possibility of another two years if EU and UK agree and want
- establish a wide-ranging free trade agreement
- reach a deal on services that goes beyond WTO levels
- agree equivalence for financial services firms
- allow free movement of capital
- establish visa-free travel for short-term visits
- commit to a level playing field, with common high standards in state aid, competition, welfare, tax, and environmental matters
“MPs have an opportunity this weekend to vote for a deal that means the UK will leave the EU in an orderly way”, Donnelly declared, adding that Johnson has the support of his cabinet and “strongly believes it is the best deal for the whole of UK”. MPs, she remarked, “should support it”.
Johnson himself said this: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control.” He also made a poster of himself and tweeted it, just as Trump would.
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 #GetBrexitDone #TakeBackControl pic.twitter.com/etNQNeIfgw
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 17, 2019
“[It’s] a fair and reasonable basis for an orderly withdrawal”, Michel Barnier told reporters in Brussels.
Later, a trio of DUP officials who spoke to Bloomberg said the party will not support the latest version.
DUP rejection of Johnson deal in full pic.twitter.com/GwSSvyHiTH
— Alex Wickham (@alexwickham) October 17, 2019
Meanwhile, The House of Commons has apparently voted 287 to 275 to permit a series of amendments to be debated this weekend when MPs will sit to approve the deal.
That, in turn, sets up a vote on whether there should be a referendum.
So, consider the situation “fluid”.
As ever, we would reiterate that this farce is, was and will be forever remembered as a mistake and a boondoggle of epic proportions.
In 2016, Britain voted to do something and then left it to policymakers to figure out what it was they had voted to do.
It was never even clear what part of speech “Brexit” is. Is it a noun? If so, is it a proper noun, or is it just capitalized by default because the first two letters denote the name of a country? Or maybe it’s a verb. If that’s the case, how does one “Brexit”?
“Brexit was offered as a single liberating proposition, when in fact it involved multi-layered consequences and implications that require negotiation with others”, The Guardian’s Martin Kettle wrote last year, summarizing one of the more absurd manifestations of the semi-global populist upsurge that swept Western democracies beginning in 2015.
If we’re all being honest, nobody involved ever had a clean read on what the implications of a “hard”, “soft” or “moderate” Brexit would be for the U.K. and/or for the EU. And again, the confusion stemmed directly from the fact that nobody knew what a “Brexit” even is.
As evidenced by the last two months during which Johnson resorted to an illegal prorogation, a Tory purge that forever stained the party and a series of theatrics that reached a hapless nadir when Boris called himself the “Incredible Hulk” in an interview with The Mail, the UK and the EU are still unclear on a definition, although they’ve settled on what you can read in the documents below.