After long hours of discussions, the UK and the EU negotiating teams reached a deal before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. The legal text (which you can read here) will still need the approval of both the UK and European parliaments.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the new deal rests on four main elements:
- That Northern Ireland will remain aligned to a limited set of EU rules, notably related to goods
- That Northern Ireland will remain in the UK’s customs territory, but will “remain an entry point” into the EU’s single market
- That there is an agreement to maintain the integrity of the single market and satisfy the UK’s legitimate wishes over VAT
- That Northern Ireland representatives will be able to decide whether to continue applying union rules in Northern Ireland or not every four years
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a “fair and balanced agreement”. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the deal sounded “even worse” than what was negotiated by the PM’s predecessor, Theresa May, and “should be rejected” by MPs.