Brexit: Draft agreement on future relationship right for UK, says May

by: - November 22, 2018
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Theresa May has hailed the draft agreement on post-Brexit relations as “right for the whole of the UK” and insisted a deal “is within our grasp”.

The political declaration – outlining how UK-EU trade, security and other issues will work – has been “agreed in principle”, the European Council says.

London and Brussels have already agreed the draft terms of the UK’s exit from the EU on 29 March 2019.

The prime minister told MPs it would deliver the Brexit people voted for.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn described the agreement as “26 pages of waffle” which “could have been written two years ago”.

“This is the blindfold Brexit we all feared – a leap in the dark. It falls short of Labour’s six tests,” he added.

“What on earth have the government been doing for the past two years?.”

Earlier Mrs May said: “The British people want this to be settled. They want a good deal that sets us on course for a brighter future. That deal is within our grasp and I am determined to deliver it.”

Last week, the UK and the EU agreed a 585-page legally-binding withdrawal agreement, covering the UK’s £39bn “divorce bill”, citizens’ rights after Brexit and the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland “backstop” – how to avoid the need for a manned border on the island of Ireland.

The political declaration is a separate, far shorter document, setting out broad aspirations for the kind of relationship the UK and the EU will have after Brexit, and is not legally-binding. Some of the wording of it is non-committal and allows both sides to keep their options open.