UPDATES WITH MORE COMMENTS FROM UK PREMIER, REACTIONS
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - Britain and the EU on Thursday said they have reached a new Brexit deal ahead of the EU Council summit starting today.
“Where there is a will, there is a deal - we have one!” Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, said on Twitter.
“It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that EUCO [Commission] endorses this deal,” he wrote.
Confirming the agreement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also took to Twitter.
“We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control — now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS [health service], violent crime, and our environment,” he wrote.
Johnson will bring the deal back to the British parliament on Saturday for a meaningful vote. “Let’s get Brexit done and lead this country forward,” Johnson said in a later tweet.
He wrote “the anti-democratic backstop has been abolished.”
“The people of Northern Ireland will be in charge of the laws that they live by, and – unlike the backstop – will have the right to end the special arrangement if they so choose,” Johnson added.
He underlined that the deal would allow the government to get Brexit done and “leave the EU in two weeks’ time, so we can then focus on the people’s priorities and bring the country back together again.”
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said they would not vote for the newly agreed deal and that it is “worse” than Theresa May’s deal, which was repeatedly voted down at the House of Commons.
Liberal Democrats’ leader Jo Swinson said she is determined to give British public a say on Brexit.
“The next few days will shape the future of our country for generations. I am more determined than ever to stop Brexit and give the public the final say in a People’s Vote,” Swinson wrote on Twitter.
The government’s de facto partner Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party earlier said they would not support the deal “as it stands.”
The U.K. is set to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 if the deal is ratified by the U.K. parliament and by the parliaments of all 27 member states.