Britain and the European Union have agreed “in principle” on a draft text laying out post-Brexit relations ahead of a summit of EU leaders to endorse the deal, European Council President Donald Tusk said Thursday.
Britain and the EU have agreed on a 26-page draft laying out future relations. The term “ambitious” comes up often in the text’s highlights, as shared by Reuters.
Among the issues addressed, the draft calls for the absence of a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and declares that the two parties expect “no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors.”
Both sides require an agreement that will keep trade flowing, as one side is the world’s biggest trading bloc and the other is the world's fifth largest national economy.
The deal, along with Britain’s legal withdrawal treaty, awaits a pending endorsement by the EU bloc’s leaders at a summit Sunday.
“The Commission president has informed me that it has been agreed at negotiators’ level and agreed in principle at a political level, subject to the endorsement of the leaders,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Britain is due to divorce from the E.U. Mar. 29, 2019 after citizens in the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU in a 2016 “Brexit” referendum which involved England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the House of Commons in London 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The British government has been divided on the issue with strong pushback from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who has condemned the Brexit plan.
“This deal is a failure," Corbyn said. “Instead of giving confidence to the millions of people who voted both leave and remain, this half-baked deal fails to give any hope that can bring the country together again.”
National envoys of the remaining 27 E.U. states will screen the draft declaration in Brussels Thursday.
Before the separation takes place, a withdrawal treaty, spanning 600 pages, must be approved by both sides along with an outline for future relations.
The legal treaty was published last week and prompted several of May’s ministers to quit.
Britain’s leadership must also decide on a possible extension of the transition period after a formal Brexit is initiated. The EU has said that period could last up until the end of 2022, but no later.
"No final deal can be agreed without the approval of the European Council on Sunday," said a spokesman for the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May.