Boris Johnson will attempt to persuade MPs to back his Brexit deal today ahead of what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the Commons on Saturday.
The European Council agreed unanimously to endorse the deal, which includes plans for a regulatory and customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“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,” Mr Johnson said in Brussels.
The agreement came at the end of a dramatic day that began with the DUP stating it could not support the deal. Less than four hours later, Mr Johnson announced that he had secured “a great new deal that takes back control” and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed the deal soon afterwards.
The deal leaves all but a fraction of the withdrawal agreement negotiated with Theresa May intact, with a new political declaration about the future relationship between Britain and the EU. The Northern Ireland backstop is replaced by a new arrangement under which the North will continue to follow EU regulations on goods.
Northern Ireland will leave the EU’s customs union with the rest of the United Kingdom but it will be treated administratively as if it is remaining within it. This means there will be no customs or regulatory border between North and South but some goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be subject to checks.
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