Boris Got a Brexit Deal

Now he just has to get Parliament to agree to it.
October 17, 2019, 1:03pm
boris johnson brexit deal
AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that he’s struck a Brexit deal with EU negotiators, but a tall task still remains: getting Parliament’s approval.

“This is a deal which allows us to get Brexit done and leave the EU in two weeks’ time, so we can then focus on the people’s priorities and bring the country back together again,” Johnson tweeted.

Johnson hasn’t secured the support of the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which is crucial to his deal passing. The DUP cited issues with how trade taxes and customs would be handled in a post-Brexit world.

"As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on [value added tax]," said the party's leader, Arlene Foster and deputy leader, Nigel Dodds in a statement.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, said Johnson’s deal was “good for Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Johnson has touted the fact that his new deal kills the “anti-democratic backstop,” which effectively prevented a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an EU member state. The hard border would have kept the UK tied to the EU’s customs union until a trade deal could be worked out, and Brexiteers worried that could give the EU power over the U.K.’s trade policy.

EU member states will have to approve the deal at a summit on Thursday and Friday. Then Parliament will sit on a Saturday, for the first time since the outbreak of the Falklands War, to consider the deal.

Without DUP’s support, Johnson would likely have to convince a number of Labour MPs and Conservatives who rebelled against him during his first vote as prime minister.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn panned the “sell-out deal” and called on MPs to reject it.

“From what we know, it seems the Prime Minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May’s, which was overwhelmingly rejected,” he said in a statement. “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.”

The BBC reported Johnson will ask EU leaders to reject requests for an extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline. Parliament passed a law last month that requires the PM to ask for an extension, unless a deal has been approved or a no-deal Brexit has been given the go-ahead by October 19.

Cover: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he participates in an art class at St Mary's and All Saints Primary School in Beaconsfield, England, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool)