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Boris Johnson has finally agreed a Brexit deal with the EU

Thomas Colson , Business Insider US
 Oct 17, 2019, 11:54 AM
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: British Prime Minins
British Prime Mininster, Boris Johnson departs from the rear of 10 Downing Street on October 17, 2019 in London, England. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson travelled to Brussels to attend his first EU Council Meeting today as he hoped to finalise the Brexit Deal.(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
  • Boris Johnson has agreed a draft Brexit deal with the EU.
  • The agreement sets up a historic vote in the UK parliament on Saturday
  • The Democratic Unionist Party had said earlier on Thursday that they could not back the deal as it stands.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

LONDON - Boris Johnson has agreed the terms of a Brexit deal, paving the way for a historic vote in the UK parliament which could finally see the UK leave the European Union.

Negotiators in the Belgian capital worked intensively on Tuesday and Wednesday to agree a revised version of the withdrawal agreement, which is set to be put before the UK parliament on Saturday.

The new deal would see Northern Ireland remain in a customs arrangement with the EU while the rest of the UK left, meaning controversial regulatory checks in the Irish sea would be required.

Focus will now turn to whether Johnson has enough support pass the deal through the Commons, after Johnson's governing partners rejected the agreement.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which lends the government 10 votes, had rejected the deal as it stands earlier on Thursday.

The self-styled "Spartans," a group of 28 Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May's withdrawal plan three times, have indicated they are willing to back the deal however.

Steve Baker, the most prominent member of the group and the chairman of the hardline European Research Group, said he was "hopeful" a deal could be struck after emerging from Downing Street on Tuesday, where he was briefed on talks.

But Johnson's hopes of success may rest on a handful of Labour MPs in Leave-voting seats, who say they are willing to back a deal but may decide to vote against Johnson's, as they voted against Theresa May's.

Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Averon, previously indicated he was willing to vote for a Conservative deal but on Tuesday said the prime minister should table an alternative proposal which could win cross-party backing.

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