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UK News 'We've got great new deal': Boris Johnson declares Brexit agreement in place

13:50  17 october  2019
13:50  17 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson says he has got a new Brexit deal that 'takes back control' © Getty Boris Johnson says he has got a new Brexit deal that 'takes back control' 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.

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

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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."

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.

Boris Johnson standing in front of a building: Boris Johnson leaving Downing St as he travels to Brussels © Imagebridge Boris Johnson leaving Downing St as he travels to Brussels 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.

The DUP had said: "We have been involved in ongoing discussions with the government.

"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.

Thousands of anti-Brexit protesters gather in London to march on Parliament as plotting MPs look set to thwart Boris Johnson's deal and delay leaving the EU - (while publicity-seeking eco-activist Mr Broccoli gets in on the act too)

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"We will continue to work with the government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom."

a man standing in front of a building: Brexit secretary Steve Barclay leaving Number 10 as he goes to Brussels © Imagebridge Brexit secretary Steve Barclay leaving Number 10 as he goes to Brussels Labour's Jeremy Corbyn also said he would not back the deal, and called for a second referendum.

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 is expected to sit on Saturday, the first weekend sitting in 37 years, to discuss the proposal following the EU summit in Brussels.

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."

a person standing in front of a building: Dominic Cummings, senior adviser to Boris Johnson leaving Downing St before the summit © Imagebridge Dominic Cummings, senior adviser to Boris Johnson leaving Downing St before the summit In a letter he said it was "high time" to complete the divorce process and move on to negotiate the future relationship.

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Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator on Brexit, 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."

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.

Michel Barnier wearing a suit and tie: Michel Barnier gave a press conference shortly after the deal was announced © Sky News Screen Grab Michel Barnier gave a press conference shortly after the deal was announced 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.

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

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.

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"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."

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said: "The fight to stop Brexit is far from over.

"Boris Johnson's deal would be bad for our economy, bad for our public services, and bad for our environment.

"The next few days will set the direction of our country for generations, and I am more determined than ever to stop Brexit.

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"When this deal comes to parliament we will use every possible opportunity to give the public a People's Vote on the Brexit deal that includes the option to remain in the EU."

Of his allies, Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, tweeted: "It is marvellous news that we have a good new Brexit Deal that will allow us to take back control and leave on 31 October. The anti-democratic backstop has been abolished, we will be able to strike our own free trade deals and Northern Ireland will be in the UK customs territory."

In Europe, Mark Rutte, the Dutch leader, said it was "very encouraging" that there is an agreement but added "now we have to study the details".

Boris Johnson in fresh push for UK general election .
Prime minister Boris Johnson is to launch a third attempt to secure a UK general election and regain the initiative on Brexit. Mr Johnson will table a parliamentary motion seeking an election under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act on Thursday night, to be voted on by MPs on Monday. The move will force the Labour party to decide if it will enable the prime minister to hold an election on December 12. If the parliamentary motion is approved, the government will then propose a new timetable to get Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal on to the statute book by November 6.

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