PM: Brexit ball is now in the hands of British Parliament

The EU and the UK agreed on the latest compromises over Brexit today in Brussels.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne talks to journalists at the European Council meeting in Brussels, 17th October 2019 / Credit: Anne Sjöholm, VNK

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) says “the ball is now in the hands of the British Parliament” after the UK and EU strike a deal a Brexit deal.

The two sides agreed on changes to the withdrawal agreement during the first day of the European Council meeting in Brussels, which Mr Rinne was attending.

After intensive negotiations the existing withdrawal agreement, which has been previously agreed by the EU and the former British Prime Minister Theresa May, was amended only with regard to the island of Ireland – the key bone of contention.

The new arrangements avoid a hard border with customs controls between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, and Northern Ireland will will leave the EU.

“The negotiators of the EU and the UK Government have now agreed on the Withdrawal Agreement, which is a positive result” says Prime Minister Rinne in a statement on Thursday evening.

“The EU’s goal has always been to reach an agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit. This is the best way to protect both EU citizens and British citizens. The ball is now in the hands of the British Parliament” Rinne adds.

The British Parliament will meet on Saturday to vote on whether or not to approve the new version of the deal. The two largest opposition parties in the UK – Labour and the Scottish Nationalist Party – have both said they will not support it.

The Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, a key ally of Boris Johnson‘s Conservative government, has also signaled that they will not support him either.