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Brexit: 'Breakthrough' deal paves way for future trade talks

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Sufficient progress has been made in Brexit talks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said, paving the way for talks on the future UK-EU relationship.Theresa May arrived in Brussels on Friday morning following overnight talks on the issue of the Irish border.The PM said there would be no hard border and the Good Friday Agreement would be upheld. EU citizens in the UK “will be able to go on living as before”.The DUP said there was still “more work to be done” and how it votes on the final deal “will depend on its contents”.Speaking at an early morning press conference in Brussels, Mr Juncker said: “Today’s result is of course a compromise.”Negotiations had been “difficult for both the UK and the EU”, he added.Prime Minister Theresa May said getting to this point had “required give and take from both sides”. LIVE: Latest updates from Brussels The leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, said on Friday she was “pleased” to see changes which mean there is “no red line down the Irish Sea”.Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the latest deal was a “very good outcome for everyone on the island of Ireland”.The joint report states: “the UK will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”
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What happens to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland had been among the key sticking points in Brexit negotiations.On Monday, the DUP – whose support Prime Minister Theresa May needs to win key votes in Westminster – objected to draft plans drawn up by the UK and the EU. The BBC’s Chris Mason said there will now be “massive relief in Downing Street”.But he warned “this is just the end of the beginning”, as phase two of negotiations will bring “huge political battles and tussles as well”. This was a sentiment echoed by the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who said the “most difficult challenge is still ahead”.”We all know that breaking up is hard but breaking up and building a new relation(ship) is much harder,” he added.
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With regard to EU citizens’ rights, Mrs May said the agreement would guarantee the rights of three million EU citizens in the UK. Their rights would “enshrined in UK law and enforced by British courts”.The rights of UK citizens living in the EU will also remain the same and the administration procedure for those concerned will be “cheap and simple”, Mr Juncker added.
Source: BBC News

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