The prime minister has agreed a deal on Britain’s exit from the EU after all night negotiations.
- Theresa May agrees a Brexit divorce deal
- EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker said “sufficient progress” had been made in talks.
- Juncker will now recommend that talks can progress to Britain's future relationship with the EU.
- DUP welcomes “substantial changes” to the deal after vetoing an earlier version of the agreement.
LONDON — Theresa May has agreed the text of a Brexit divorce deal after all night talks with European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker, the DUP and the Irish government.
The prime minister made a series of calls on Thursday to the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the leader of the DUP Arlene Foster late on Thursday before finally agreeing a compromise position on the Northern Ireland border.
She then travelled with the Brexit secretary David Davis to Brussels for early morning talks with the Commission, before the deal was done and published by the EU.
“I believe we have now made the breakthrough we needed,” Juncker said in a joint press conference with May, saying that “sufficient progress” had been made on Northern Ireland, Britain's divorce deal and EU citizens, in order to allow the next stage of talks on Britain's future relationship with the EU to start.
He said that May had negotiated in a “generous” manner and made “significant commitments” on all of the three main issues that were up for negotiation.
He added: “I always be sad [about Brexit] but we must now start looking to the future.”
May said the talks had been “difficult” for both sides.
“Getting to this point has required give and take on both sides,” May said.
“I very much look forward to moving onto the next phase.”
May said there would be no border between Northern Ireland and the Republic and believed they had been able to make an agreement that would prevent this from happening.
An agreement had been expected earlier in the week but was effectively vetoed by the DUP after the original version of the text suggested there would be continued “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Speaking to Sky News, Foster said there had now been “substantial changes” to the text.
Martin Selmayr, who is deputy to the chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted a picture of white smoke in the early hours of Friday as it became clear a deal had been done.
The EU Council wil meet on Thursday and Friday next week to formally agree the deal made between May and the Commission.