Brexit deal clinched in Brussels, Johnson still needs backing at home

Candlelit vigil on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland
People hold placards as they attend a candlelit vigil on the border between Ireland’s Donegal county and Londonderry county in Northern Ireland in Lifford, Ireland, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble

October 17, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain clinched a Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, just a few hours before the start of a summit of the bloc’s leaders in Brussels.

Separately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal”.

Juncker said in a letter that he would recommend that the leaders of the other 27 member states approve the deal, adding it was “high time” to complete the divorce process and move on as swiftly as possible to negotiations of the EU’s future partnership with Britain.

However, the Northern Irish party Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement has refused to support the deal that was hammered out over weeks of negotiations.

Johnson is hoping to get approval for the agreement in a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31.

Sterling surged more than 1% and British share prices rallied after the announcement that an agreement had been reached.

(Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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