President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have announced that a Brexit deal has been struck between the EU and the UK.
Speaking from Brussels, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier laid out some of the stipulations of the new deal, including the most contentious issue of the discussions — the Irish backstop.
The new deal offers a “legally operative solution to avoid a hard border” on the island of Ireland, he said, adding: “It is a solution that works for the EU, for the UK and for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.”
As a result, Northern Ireland will “remain aligned” with a limited set of rules related to the EU’s Single Market, which will help avoid the introduction of a hard border.
These rules apply, in particular, with “legislation on goods, sanitary rules for veterinary controls, rules on agricultural production/marketing, VAT and excise in respect of goods, and state aid rules,” according to a statement released by the EU.
The rest of the UK will therefore be able to apply tariffs on goods incoming from third parties.
It also means that Northern Ireland will be given a “mechanism of ‘consent'” that gives Stormont the ability to decide whether to continue these EU rules four years after the deal is enforced.
Meanwhile, European Commission President and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson both tweeted to say that an agreement had been reached.
????? Where there is a will, there is a #deal – we have one! It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions. I recommend that #EUCO endorses this deal. pic.twitter.com/7AfKyCZ6k9
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) October 17, 2019
We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control — now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities like the cost of living, the NHS, violent crime and our environment #GetBrexitDone #TakeBackControl
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) October 17, 2019