- Boris Johnson has agreed a draft Brexit deal with the EU.
- The agreement sets up a historic vote in the UK parliament on Saturday
- The Democratic Unionist Party had said earlier on Thursday that they could not back the deal as it stands.
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LONDON — Boris Johnson has agreed the terms of a Brexit deal with with Brussels, paving the way for a historic Commons vote which could finally see the UK leave the bloc.
Negotiators in the Belgian capital worked intensively on Tuesday and Wednesday agree to a revised version of the withdrawal agreement, which could be put before parliament on Saturday.
The new deal would see Northern Ireland remain in a customs arrangement with the EU while the rest of the UK left, meaning controversial regulatory checks in the Irish sea would be required.
Focus will now turn to whether Johnson has enough support pass the deal through the Commons, after Johnson’s governing partners rejected the agreement.
The Democratic Unionist Party, which lends the government 10 votes, had rejected the deal as it stands earlier on Thursday.
The self-styled “Spartans,” a group of 28 Brexit-supporting Conservative MPs who voted against Theresa May’s withdrawal plan three times, have indicated they are willing to back the deal however.
Steve Baker, the most prominent member of the group and the chairman of the hardline European Research Group, said he was “hopeful” a deal could be struck after emerging from Downing Street on Tuesday, where he was briefed on talks.
But Johnson’s hopes of success may rest on a handful of Labour MPs in Leave-voting seats, who say they are willing to back a deal but may decide to vote against Johnson’s, as they voted against Theresa May’s.
Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Averon, previously indicated he was willing to vote for a Conservative deal but on Tuesday said the prime minister should table an alternative proposal which could win cross-party backing.