Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold a news conference at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman - RC1C3DF7BBB0

Brexit: Key points of ‘breakthrough’ deal with EU

4 mins read

Today it was reported that Brexit negotiations are finally able to move onto the next stage as the UK and the European Commission agree on the vital Brexit deal.

The agreement means that the EU and the UK government can begin trade talks, which EU officials have announced will not commence until February at the earliest.

Campaigners of the Leave camp are criticising Theresa May for agreeing to what appears to be a soft Brexit deal.

Former UKIP leader and Brexiteer Nigel Farage told LBC that the news was “pathetic” as he says the wishes of 17 million people have been betrayed.

Brig brings you the latest developments in the Brexit negotiations.

1. No border between Ireland and Northern Ireland

The breakthrough in negotiations means that the UK pledges its commitment to avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This allows the UK to respect DUP demands that Northern Ireland is treated the same as the rest of the UK following Brexit and ensures trade can continue without border checks, the joint report said, and without creating turmoil in the region.

Controversially, the deal states that in the absence of an overall trade deal, the UK will continue “full alignment” with parts of the EU single market and customs union, which supports the Good Friday Agreement.

Nicola Sturgeon has commented on negotiations, tweeting that Scotland must be given the same special agreements that Northern Ireland receive.

2. Costly Brexit divorce bill

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hold a news conference at the EC headquarters in Brussels
The breakthrough deal means negotiations can move onto the next stage. Credit: Sky News

When Britain leaves the European Union, it is estimated that it will end up having to pay between £35 billion and £39 billion, as Theresa May agreed to pay the costly price of leaving Brexit.

A positive at least is that the sum will be paid over the course of four years and EU Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier said that the EU had dropped the cost of relocating UK-based EU agencies from the final divorce bill

However, these are not official numbers as negotiators have been cautious not to release an exact figure on the financial settlement just yet.

This is a particular cause for concern for Eurosceptics, such as Farage, as he describes the figure as “humiliating”.

3. Rights for EU nationals living in UK revealed

An agreement has been reached which assures the rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK to “go on living their lives as before”

It is believed that families of the EU residents in the UK would also be able to join them in the future.

These decisions also ensure that British citizens living the EU countries would have the same rights, however they would not retain them should they move to another EU country.

This has received backlash from Brits living in Europe as they say the deal leaves them “landlocked”.

Freedom of movement is expected to last for two years after Brexit.

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