EU Commission agrees draft text on future Brexit relationship

EU Commission agrees draft text on future Brexit relationship

Sunday's summit is meant to conclude almost two years of complex and often acrimonious negotiations on how Britain and the European Union will function after their March 29 divorce. That is explicit in the text, and also making sure we deliver firmly on the instruction from the British people in the referendum on things like ending free movement.

The EU has also agreed to update the divorce deal to allow a possible extension of the transition period "for up to one or two years" if needed to agree on the new future relationship.

It follows a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday evening between the Prime Minister and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and is the first indication that the pair reached political agreement in principle on the text.

This means that the United Kingdom will continue to be in the EU customs union until a solution is found to the Irish border problem. She is battling adversaries in her own Conservative Party who are plotting to oust her while members of her Cabinet are pushing her get a better deal.

He repeated his threat that Spain will vote against the planned agreement unless its interests are taken into account.

"The political declaration does not create a link between a future agreement on fisheries, including access to waters, and any agreement on trade in fisheries products".

Theresa May must abandon her commitment to an Irish border backstop in her Brexit deal if she wants the support of the DUP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has warned.

"Anything that Spain does to upset the apple cart at the 11th hour is worrying, especially when Spain talks about excluding Gibraltar from a future relationship [between Britain and the EU]", Mr Azopardi, who heads the Gibraltar Social Democrats, told Sky News.

The main text of the political declaration said the European Union and Britain "agree to develop an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership".

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May arrives to make a statement outside 10 Downing Street London Thursday Nov. 22 2018. Theresa May says Brexit deal’s approval “is within our grasp” and she is determined to deliver it. (AP

In case Madrid doesn't sink it, Theresa May's Brexit plan is expected to be signed at a special European Union summit on Sunday.

The political declaration is a separate document to the 585-page withdrawal agreement, published last week, which covers the UK's £39bn "divorce bill", citizens' rights after Brexit and the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland "backstop" - how to avoid the need for manned customs posts on the Irish border.

The Parties envisage comprehensive arrangements that will create a free trade area, combining deep regulatory and customs cooperation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition.

The former point deals with European Union concern that Britain is using the Irish question to get special access to the European Union market while dispensing with its regulations.

Both sides need an accord to keep trade flowing between the world's biggest trading bloc and the fifth largest national economy.

It is crunch time and the moment of truth for all the parties involved in this hard and unprecedented process of disentangling more than 40 years of economic, political, cultural, trade and military relationships.

"We have that insurance policy that ensures the Northern Ireland border will not appear again, ensures our trade will continue to flow and ensures that our businesses are able to be successful".

The deal must still be approved by the leaders of the individual EU states at a special EU Council meeting on Sunday.

The transition period, now due to end after 21 months in December 2020, can be extended for up to two years.

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