Good Friday agreement!
After night-long negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU have announced that a ‘breakthrough’ deal has finally been reached to move the Brexit talks onto future trade with the EU.
May arrived in Brussels before 6am on Friday, to stage a joint press conference with EU leaders.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said “the breakthrough we needed” had been achieved on all three so-called “divorce issues” – the Irish border, a financial settlement and EU citizens’ rights.
May said it “hasn’t been easy for either side”, árguing there had been “give and take on both sides” to strike an agreement that was a “significant improvement”.
Referring to a sticking point between her party and the DUP, May said, “in Northern Ireland we will guarantee there will be no hard border, and we will uphold the (Good Friday Agreement),” adding: “No barrier north-south or east-west.”
She also said she had reached a financial settlement “fair for the British taxpayer” (expected to be at least £45bn). The payout, she argued, would allow the Government to “invest more in our priorities of housing, schools and the NHS”.
On the issue of EU citizens, Juncker pointed to possible trouble ahead, saying: “For EU citizens, the ECJ [European Court of Justice] will still be competent.”
Follwing this announcement, Donald Tusk, the EU Council President said the UK would have to accept the “whole of EU law – including new law”.
Nigel Farage was quick to tweet his disapproval: “A deal in Brussels is good news for Mrs May as we can now move on to the next stage of humiliation.”