UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her cabinet are holding an emergency meeting to discuss a draft deal May recently reached with the European Union (EU) on Brexit.
According to the BBC, officials in the UK and EU have agreed to a draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. While details on the detail have not yet been released to the public, it is said to include a 500 page withdrawal agreement, as well as a statement regarding the future relationship of the UK and EU. The agreement is said to include, however, how to guarantee that there will be no physical checks at the border with Northern Ireland, which had been a key sticking point in future negotiations.
Business Insider reports that the deal also includes a “backstop” that will create a UK-wide customs union with the EU, including Northern Ireland in some of the European single market, in the event that the UK and EU fail to negotiate a trade deal that negates the need for border checks at the Northern Ireland border. The agreement has drawn criticism from leading pro-Brexit politicians, as well as the Democratic Unionist party, which is part of May’s ruling coalition, as the backstop includes no fixed end date, instead opting for a review clause regarding for deciding when the backstop should come to an end.
According to the New York Times, even if the cabinet approves the draft in today’s emergency meeting, the deal will still require final approval of the British Parliament, as well as the EU’s European Parliament.