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London and Brussels strike Brexit accord, but road forward remains uncertain


London and Brussels strike Brexit accord, but road forward remains uncertain

Brexit deal
Francisco Seco – AP

The UK and the EU have secured a Brexit deal yesterday, however, the agreement must pass Parliament tomorrow if it is to come into effect.

The accord breaks ground on the question of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland by abolishing the backstop. Essentially, a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, wherein goods will be checked in Northern Irish ports before moving into Ireland, will be implemented. Though it will stay part of the UK’s customs union, Northern Ireland will remain bound to many EU regulations and trade stipulations. After four years, Northern Ireland will be allowed to reevaluate its consent to the deal.

It is uncertain if the deal will pass when voted on this Saturday. Labour and the Liberal Democrats remain staunchly opposed. Likewise, the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, a key ally of the government, has said it cannot support the deal as it treats Northern Ireland differently than the rest of the UK. Though it has said otherwise, Brussels might grant an extension to negotiations should the deal fail. In this case, look for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to push for a new election or, especially in the case of the latter, another referendum altogether.

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