EU leaders have endorsed a deal on Britain’s departure from the European Union, as well as an accompanying political declaration on future relations, in a culmination of arduous divorce negotiations.
“EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations,” European Council President Donald Tusk wrote on Twitter on Sunday, referring to the two documents.
Negotiations continued up to the last minute on the texts, which lay out the legal terms for Britain’s departure on March 19, 2019, as well as paving the way for negotiations on the future political and trade relationship.
British Prime Minister Theresa May now faces the tough task of selling the deal domestically.
The withdrawal agreement has drawn fierce criticism from eurosceptics as well as pro-EU politicians in Britain, where it looks likely to fail in an initial vote in parliament slated for mid-December. On Sunday, however, EU leaders called upon British lawmakers to accept the deal.
Britain’s exit from the EU is a moment of “deep sadness,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. But he expressed confidence that the British parliament will vote in favour of the divorce deal.
Asked for his advice to British lawmakers, Juncker said he would vote in favour, because “this is the best deal possible for Britain.” Juncker said he refused to countenance the possibility of a No vote, adding that a major reworking of the deal is out of the question.
Nov 25, 2018