Brexit still a step away from being a done deal
Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs."
After months of widespread pessimism about the likelihood that a new Brexit deal could be reached, the news arrived on Thursday that Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson had hammered out an agreement with the leaders of the European Union just hours before a leaders’ summit. But it's not time to celebrate just yet.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the podium after addressing a press conference at a European Union leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Britain and the European Union reached a tentative new Brexit deal on Thursday in the hope of bringing to an end their three-year divorce battle. [Photo: AP/IC]
This is not the first time that an in-principle agreement has been reached. Theresa May made a deal with the European Union when she was in office, but it was repeatedly rejected by both her Cabinet and the Parliament.
As for the new deal, it could be expected to get the go-ahead from the European Parliament, as the European Union has been well coordinated when it comes to preparing for Britain's departure from the Union. But across the Channel, the new deal is facing opposition from the Labour Party, which says the new deal is worse than the one Theresa May agreed with Brussels. And the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, a key player in the negotiations, has also rejected the deal. It's widely believed that it will be very difficult to get the deal through Parliament without the support of the DUP.
The defining characteristic of the Brexit process has been the extended period of uncertainty. The new deal raises the prospect that Britain can finally leave the European Union with a deal, but the differing views among Britain's political parties mean we will have to wait until the deal is voted on during a special session of Parliament on Saturday to see whether this saga has finally come to an end.