European Union nations sign off Brexit deal

European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU-27 leaders were ready to withdraw the trade agreement and the non-binding political declaration of future relations between the EU and the UK.

Finally, negotiations on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) got a go ahead, with leaders of the 27 member-nations signing off the deal at a summit in Brussels.
 
European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU-27 leaders were ready to withdraw the trade agreement and the non-binding political declaration of future relations between the EU and the UK. 
 
“We will remain partners, allies, friends,” Michel Barnier, the lead EU negotiator, was quoted as saying, at the start of the summit on Sunday.
 
As per EU leaders, it is the "best and only deal possible".
 
Though there was agreement from both sides, uncertainty returned at the last moment as Spain expressed its concerns about the inclusion of Gibraltar in the withdrawal agreement. Spain threatened to exert its veto if it was not assured that the territory would be the subject of separate bilateral negotiations between Spain and the UK. However, a compromise was reached and the Spanish government withdrawing its opposition.
 
Now the heat turns on the UK government to get the agreeement passed in Parliament.
 
The opposition to the deal has increased within Parliament since last week, and British Prime Minister Theresa May has been reaching out to the public and business community in the UK to get them on her side. 
 
On Saturday, she published an open letter to the public urging them to get behind the deal. She was of the view that the deal will be of benefit for both who worked for “Leave” or “Remain”.
 
However, the opposition parties have been calling for the removal of the controversial “backstop” mechanism to ensure there isn’t a danger of a hard border developing in Northern Ireland.
 
The government and the EU could be persuaded to extend the Brexit process if Theresa May’s deal is voted down by MPs, Labour has argued, as ministers begin the task of trying to sell the agreement to the country.
 
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, has argued the government and the EU could be persuaded to extend the Brexit process if Theresa May’s deal is voted down by MPs.
 
Source: Media reports

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