EU leaders convene at European Council summit to give approval to draft Brexit deal

EU leaders convene at European Council summit to give approval to draft Brexit deal

Today, a European Council summit will be held in Brussels to finalise a Brexit deal that was struck on Wednesday

European Council President Donald Tusk attends a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter

Today, a European Council summit will be held in Brussels to finalise a Brexit deal that was struck on Wednesday between EU and UK negotiators. The Political Declaration, a non-binding agreement that outlines the future political and economic relationship between the EU and UK, and the legally-binding withdrawal agreement will be discussed by leaders of EU member states.

British PM Theresa May has been adamant on passing the agreements, but major points of contention exist on both sides. Indeed, earlier this week, Spain expressed concerns about future trade relations with Gibraltar, a British territory. However, European Council President Donald Tusk assured the Gibraltar issue will be ironed out, allowing for a consensus by day’s end. The date for the European Council’s official vote is not yet set, but unanimous approval today is absolutely essential for EU unity.

Meanwhile, PM May faces considerable difficulties at home. The deal remains unlikely to pass through parliament, given opposition from the Labour Party and a number of Conservative MPs who have criticised the “soft Brexit” proposal. Thus, expect the deal to falter in Parliament, leaving the UK with either a “no-deal Brexit” or four months to obtain an extension for further negotiations.

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