Oct 17, 2019 - World

Johnson reaches Brexit deal, but needs Parliament's approval

The man with the deal. Photo: WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this morning that he's reached a "great new" Brexit deal with the European Union — a statement almost unforeseeable one week ago, when Johnson seemed to be steaming toward a constitutional crisis over a potential "no deal" Brexit on the Oct. 31 deadline.

Between the lines: Johnson's deal is similar to the one his predecessor, Theresa May, saw repeatedly rejected in Parliament (including by Johnson), with some tweaks around the crucial issue of Northern Ireland.

  • The parliamentary arithmetic looks tricky for Johnson too, as he no longer has a working majority and a Northern Irish party that supports his government, the DUP, has rejected this deal.
  • Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, has said this deal is "even worse" than May's. Labour wants a second referendum in which the public can accept or reject the deal.
  • The British pound is surging. It had weakened significantly on the prospect of "no deal," which would be economically calamitous as it would see trading arrangements dissolve overnight.

What's next: Johnson wants Parliament to convene to vote on his plan this Saturday. That's the deadline the opposition and rebels within his own party imposed to either reach a deal with the EU or seek a deadline extension beyond Halloween. It should be dramatic.

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