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U.K., EU agree on draft Brexit deal Updated: 2019-10-18 16:18:48 KST

The leaders of the United Kingdom and the European Union on Thursday unanimously endorsed a new Brexit divorce deal, ahead of the October 31st deadline for Britain to leave the EU.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the importance of the deal, and what it would mean for both the U.K. and the EU.

"I want to stress that this is a great deal for our country, for the UK, I also believe it's a very good deal for our friends in the EU. And what it means is that we in the UK can come out of the EU as one United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, together. And it means we can decide our future together, we can 'take back control', as the phrase goes, of our money, our borders, our laws, together, and we will be able to do free trade agreements around the world."

However, getting the necessary votes at home will be a tall task for the prime minister, who was one of the faces of the 2016 campaign to leave the EU.
Johnson brushed off suggestions that he won't be able to persuade enough lawmakers to pass the deal this weekend, after his allies in parliament, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party rejected the deal.
Despite having to overcome that hurdle, the prime minister said he was feeling positive.

"I am very confident that when my colleagues in parliament study this agreement that they will want to vote for it on Saturday and in succeeding days."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also insisted a deal must be made, and that there would be no further extension.

"I hope it will. I am convinced it will. It has to. Anyway, there will be no prolongation."

Johnson and his team hope the threat of Britain leaving without a deal on his October 31st deadline, will concentrate minds in parliament, which has rejected agreements negotiated by his predecessor, Theresa May,.. three times, which ultimately forced her to resign earlier this year.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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