British Prime Minister, Theresa May secured support from her Cabinet for her draft divorce deal with the European Union on Wednesday.

Iran press/Europe: Standing outside Downing Street, May announced that she had won the backing of her senior ministers after debate that had lasted five hours. "This is a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead," she said according to CNN.

“I firmly believe it’s the best agreement that could be negotiated,” May told reporters. She added that this was a “decisive step,” but acknowledged there would be “difficult days ahead” as she tries to sell her plan to the rest of Parliament.

May is to address the details of the concert in the British Parliament on Thursday.

The European Union and the United Kingdom have been scrambling to reach an agreement by the end of the year, to give both the UK and EU parliaments time to ratify it before the approaching March 29, 2019 deadline.

At that point, the UK will leave the EU — deal or no deal and the consequences of a “no-deal” Brexit could be dire.

Both the UK and the EU want to avoid that scenario, and the existence of a nearly 600-page plan is a promising sign. But a lot of hurdles remain, the biggest one being May’s own Conservative Party, which is split between those who want a less dramatic break with the EU and hardline “Brexiteers” who want a clean and decisive split.

The border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU, has also proven to be a huge sticking point in negotiations.

Opposition from within the UK could kill any Brexit deal, even if the 27 European member-states and the EU parliament go along with it.

May has now passed the first critical test: getting her ministers to back her plan. But a Brexit deal is far from done — and the March deadline is inching closer.

The UK and the EU are in the midst of trying to finalize the terms of their breakup, a tangled process that’s gone on for more than a year.

Some aspects of the agreement have already been worked out, but neither side has been able to agree on the fundamental question of what the post-Brexit relationship would look like.

The EU had proposed that Northern Ireland essentially maintain the status quo and remain in the EU customs union and its regulatory area — which means the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland follow the same rules, so there’s no need for customs and border checks.

But May has rejected any plan that treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK because it would effectively create a hard border within her own country.

Instead, she has proposed her own solution: to keep all of the UK in the customs territory during the transition period.

The Conservative Party is deeply divided between hardline Brexit supporters and others who voted to remain in the EU, and Wednesday's breakthrough for Brexiteers only the beginning of what is expected to be a protracted and painful political process.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, welcomed Wednesday's developments. "This agreement, is a decisive, crucial step on concluding these negotiations," he said. "It is also the achievement of a methodology which has been a negotiation carried out in transparency from the word go and fully in respect of our respective mandates."

EU Parliament chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt echoed the sentiment, saying in a tweet that while he hoped "one day the UK will return" that "in the meantime this agreement will make a Brexit possible, while maintaining a close relationship between the EU and UK."

The British people (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) voted in a referendum for the exit of the country from the European Union on June 23, 2016.

However, the results of a new poll show that more than half of the British people prefer to stay in the EU. 208/103

Read more:

Londoners call for second Brexit vote

UK, EU agree to take more Brexit time

Britain's May calls for her party to unite on Brexit

Tags

Nov 15, 2018 07:30 Asia/Tehran
Comments