Brexit: New agreement must still be passed by both UK and EU parliaments

Brexit: New agreement must still be passed by both UK and EU parliaments
Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, confirmed on Thursday that the EP would vote after and if the new withdrawal agreement was accepted in the UK parliament. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The new Brexit withdrawal agreement announced early on Thursday morning must still be approved by both the UK and EU parliaments before a deal can be formally reached.

The European Commission on Thursday recommended the European Parliament to endorse the new agreement, which, including a revised Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, lays out a revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

Discarding the contentious border backstop, the revised protocol "removes the possibility of a hard border on the island of Ireland, protects the all-island economy and the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions and safeguards the integrity of the Single Market," according to a European Union press release.

With the exception of the revised protocol, all other aspects of the new withdrawal agreement are the same as the agreement reached on 14 November 2018, the press release explains.

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In contrast to the process followed with Theresa May's first withdrawal agreement, the European Parliament will vote on the agreement after the House of Commons, only if it is approved there, European Parliament Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt confirmed on Thursday.

The new agreement "represents a very good deal both for the EU and the UK, it is a reasonable and fair outcome," said Boris Johnson in Brussels on Thursday.

After attending the EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to bring the new withdrawal agreement to the House of Commons on Saturday, at the first weekend sitting of the UK Parliament since the Falklands war.

Evie McCullough

The Brussels Times

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