UK and EU negotiators have finally agreed a Brexit deal and will now be put to the 27 leaders of the European Union to sign off. However critically, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) say they oppose the agreement.
President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker announced on Wednesday morning via Twitter that a “fair and balanced agreement” had been struck between the two sides. “I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal,” he added.
Where there is a will, there is a #deal - we have one!
UK PM Boris Johnson also took to social media to reveal that a “great new deal that takes back control” had been brokered and urged the UK parliament to sign it off on Saturday when MPs convene to debate the agreement.
It’s not all good news though as the DUP, Johnson’s key allies who support his minority Tory government have responded by insisting that their opposition to the deal, as it stands, “hasn’t changed.”
In a statement published on social media earlier on Wednesday morning DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds said: “As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues and there is a lack of clarity on VAT.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also criticized the new UK-EU Brexit deal, claiming that it was a “sell out” agreement that “won’t bring the country together and should be rejected.”
“The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote,” he added.
Johnson needs 320 UK lawmakers to back the deal to see it pass through the House of Commons, and so with the DUP and Labour looking like they’ll reject such a proposition, it appears he could struggle to get the required numbers.
It’s gearing up to be a highly momentous day in the UK parliament on Saturday, if as expected, MPs convene to debate and vote on the deal. It would be the first Saturday sitting since 1982, when Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands, and only the third since World War II.