Britain and EU agree on Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attending a news conference in Brussels yesterday after agreeing on the Brexit deal.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attending a news conference in Brussels yesterday after agreeing on the Brexit deal.PHOTO: REUTERS

Britain clinched an eleventh-hour Brexit deal with the European Union (EU) yesterday, more than three years after Britons voted in a referendum to leave the bloc, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson still faces a knife-edge vote in Parliament to get it approved.

He is hoping to get approval for the deal in a vote at an extraordinary session of Parliament tomorrow, to pave the way for an orderly exit on Oct 31. However, the Northern Irish party he needs to help ratify any deal has refused support.

The deal scraps the "backstop", a mechanism envisaged earlier to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, which would have bound Britain to some EU rules.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2019, with the headline 'Britain and EU agree on Brexit deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe