New Brexit deal gets unanimous approval from EU leaders

FILE PHOTO: Anti-Brexit demonstrators waving EU and Union flags are reflected in a puddle in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

European leaders have unanimously endorsed the Brexit deal, formally sending it to the British Parliament for ratification.

The Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before the meeting of European leaders in Brussels which approved the agreement unanimously.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the agreement reached was a “fair and balanced agreement”.

The controversial Northern Irish Backstop that many argued tied the UK to the EU indefinitely.

Under the new deal, Northern Ireland will be in the UK customs territory ‘forever’ and will benefit from any free trade deals the UK strikes.

However there will be a ‘special arrangement’ for Northern Ireland, ‘reflecting the unique circumstances there’.

Boris Johnson has insisted he is “very confident” that his Brexit deal will be approved by the House of Commons in a historic knife-edge vote on Saturday, even without the backing of the DUP.

The DUP has cast doubt on its sign off, saying they still cannot support it.

The Northern Irish party earlier released a statement saying they could not back proposals “as things stand”, and – after the PM’s announcement – said their statement “still stands”.

Boris Johnson will give MPs a “my deal or no deal” ultimatum on Saturday after the EU ruled out another Brexit extension.

“I want to stress that this is a great deal for our country, for the UK; I also believe that it is a very good deal for our friends in the EU,” Johnson said at the European council in Brussels, where EU leaders signed off on the last-minute deal.