Brexit: UK Government and EU strike a deal

08 December 2017 - by Anna Mercer

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker have confirmed this morning that a deal has been struck between the EU and UK Government, enabling Phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations to conclude and talks on future trade deals to commence.

The key features of the agreement are as follows: 

  • 'No hard border' between Northern Ireland and the Republic maintaining 'constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.'

  • EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa will have their rights to live, work and study protected.

  • A financial settlement which is 'fair to the British taxpayer.'

The Prime Minister also made six pledges to Northern Ireland:

1. We will always uphold and support Northern Ireland’s status as an integral part of the United Kingdom, consistent with the principle of consent. The government I lead will never be neutral when it comes to expressing our support for the Union.

2. We will fully protect and maintain Northern Ireland’s position within the single market of the United Kingdom. This is by far the most important market for Northern Ireland’s goods and services and you will continue to have full and unfettered access to it.

3. There will be no new borders within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In addition to no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, we will maintain the Common Travel Area throughout these islands.

4. The whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will leave the EU customs union and the EU single market. Nothing in the agreement I have reached alters that fundamental fact.

5. We will uphold the commitments and safeguards set out in the Belfast Agreement regarding North-South Co-operation. This will continue to require cross-community support.

6. The whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

The full text of this document is available here. This will be shared with people in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.