Relief and caution as EU leaders endorse Brexit deal

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World News

October 18, 2019 - 4:04 PM

Michel Barnier, EU Commission representative for the negotiations on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (Brexit)

BRUSSELS — EU leaders unanimously threw their backing on Thursday behind a Brexit deal struck hours ahead of their Brussels summit, although relief at the last-minute breakthrough was tempered by uncertainty over whether British lawmakers could accept the deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the agreement — which includes an overhaul of contentious backstop provisions at the Irish border — and said he is “very confident that when (parliamentarians) of all parties look at this deal they will see the merit of supporting it.”

European Council President Donald Tusk said EU leaders would now push to have the deal ratified in the European Parliament, though all eyes are on Westminster, which must approve the deal in time for the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s exit from the bloc.

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