November 26, 2018

Brexit latest: May’s deal passed by the EU and faces the House of Commons in December

By Priya Kantaria

The Brexit agreement bill won the approval of the 27 EU nations on Sunday and now it faces the UK Parliament in a meaningful vote expected around 12 December.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in a letter to the country: “We will take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all,” explaining there will be a skills-based system for immigration.

She added: “We will take back control of our money, by putting an end to vast annual payments to the EU,” and she re-stated the government’s plan to put £394m a week into the NHS.

She continued: “We will be out of EU programme that does not work in our interests;” these include the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy, which she said had failed farmers and coastal communities.

EU citizens that have “built their lives in the United Kingdom” will have their rights protected under the agreement and so will UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

In terms of trade, she said there would be a free trade area allowing goods to “flow easily across our borders”, which she said will protect skilled jobs that rely on integrated supply-chains.

She added: “We will be able to sign new trade deals with other countries and open up new markets in the fastest-growing economies around the world.”

May and Corbyn will debate Brexit on TV

May said she will be campaigning for her deal to win the meaningful vote and agreed to defend it against opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in a live TV debate.

Corbyn said his party will not pass the deal, and the Northern Ireland DUP said it will review its pact with the Conservatives if the deal is passed in parliament.

Juncker on Brexit: a failure by the British

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the BBC: “This is the deal. I’m (sic) never changing my mind day after day, this is the best deal possible for Britain and this is the only deal possible. So if the House would say no, we would have no deal.”

“It is a failure on the British behalf if you are telling people year after year, month after month, day after day, that the membership of Britain in the European Union is the best thing for British citizens. So I don’t think that the European Union is responsible for the result, it’s the responsibility of Britain, only of Britain, nobody else.”

Spain and France lay down their conditions

Spain used its leverage over the UK in the vote on Sunday to agree that Gibraltar will not necessarily be covered by the future trade deal with the EU.

The Guardian reported Spain has already said the UK will have to open talks on joint sovereignty of the territory.

The Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez said: “Once the UK has left the EU, Gibraltar’s political, legal and even geographic relationship with the EU will go through Spain.”

The BBC said French President Emmanuel Macron warned the UK that if it was unwilling to compromise over fishing terms, negotiations for the wider trade deal could be slowed and lead to a backstop.

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