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  • Anti-Brexit demonstrations opposite the House of Parliament, in London, Britain, Nov. 13.

    Anti-Brexit demonstrations opposite the House of Parliament, in London, Britain, Nov. 13. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 November 2018

The draft withdrawal agreement reached with the European Union (EU) to consummate Brexit is now to be approved by both the Cabinet and the Parliament.

After more than a year of negotiations, Britain and the European Union (EU) have come to an agreement to finalize Brexit, a departure from the European bloc which could shape the country's prosperity for generations to come.

British Prime Minister Theresa May must get the deal approved by her cabinet and by parliament. The British cabinet is meeting on Wednesday to consider the draft withdrawal agreement.

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The United Kingdom decided to withdraw from it in June 2016. Through a referendum, 52 percent of the British public voted in favor of leaving the EU. As a result, the British authorities began the process of formal departure from the economic and political bloc.

The United Kingdom is expected to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. To do so, it is required to negotiate a withdrawal agreement to define what obligations will remain in force for the United Kingdom as well as to keep trade flowing between the world's biggest trading bloc and its former partner.

By seeking to leave the EU while preserving the closest possible ties, May's compromise plan has upset Brexiteers, pro-Europeans, Scottish nationalists, the Northern Irish party, and some of her own ministers.

Up until now it is unclear when parliament might vote on a deal. To get the deal approved, however, May needs 320 votes out of the 650-seat parliament, a result which could be hard to get since she faces a deeply divided government, party, parliament and country.

On the other side, EU leaders could meet on Nov. 25 for a summit to seal the Brexit deal if May's cabinet approves the text.

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