LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union and Britain have agreed a draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement and Prime Minister Theresa May will present it to her senior ministers on Wednesday.
Below is early reaction:
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE MAIN OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY
“We will look at the details of what has been agreed when they are available. But from what we know of the shambolic handling of these negotiations, this is unlikely to be a good deal for the country.
“Labour has been clear from the beginning that we need a deal to support jobs and the economy – and that guarantees standards and protections. If this deal doesn’t meet our six tests and work for the whole country, then we will vote against it.”
BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER
“It is vassal state stuff. For the first time in a thousand years this place, this parliament will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs. It means having to accept rules and regulations over which we have no say ourselves. It is utterly unacceptable to anyone who believes in democracy.
“For the first time since partition, Dublin under these proposals will have more say in some aspects of the government of Northern Ireland than London. So I don’t see how you can support it.”
NIGEL DODDS, DUP DEPUTY LEADER
“The trick will be for Theresa May: can she satisfy everyone? It is going to be a very, very hard sell, I would have thought, but let’s wait and see the actual detail.
“The crucial issue is going to be what happens when it comes to cabinet and when it gets to parliament. We haven’t seen any details, we’ll see what happens. People know what our position is very clearly and we will judge whatever comes forward against the positions that have already been outlined.”
SAMMY WILSON, DUP’S BREXIT SPOKESMAN
“The headline stuff … is really just a regurgitation of the deal which was offered in March of this year which the Prime Minister said no UK Prime Minister could ever sign up to.
“If she does sign up to this … It will lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom, and it will also keep the United Kingdom tied into EU institutions without the ability to decide when we want to break free from them.”
JACOB REES-MOGG, LEADER OF HARD-BREXIT FACTION OF CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKERS
“This is the vassal state. It is a failure of the government’s negotiating position, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit, and it is potentially dividing up the United Kingdom. It is very hard to see any reason why the cabinet should support Northern Ireland being ruled from Dublin.”
“I hope the cabinet will block it and if not I hope parliament will block it. I think what we know of this deal is deeply unsatisfactory.”
JULIAN SMITH, PM MAY’S CHIEF WHIP
“I’m confident we’ll get this through parliament and that we can deliver on what the Prime Minister committed to on delivering Brexit, but making sure that that is in the best interests of companies, businesses and families.
“It’s a major document, hundreds of pages, and people will be looking at that carefully but I’m confident that… we’re hopefully on the cusp of beginning to get to the point where we’re delivering on Brexit in a really practical way.
“Theresa May has stuck with it through a very very tough year or two, and will be delivering the best interests of Britain.”
IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, FORMER CONSERVATIVE LEADER
Asked if the government’s days were numbered, he referred to reports of the deal and said: “If this is the case, the answer is almost certainly, yes, because they’re in real trouble if they bring back something unacceptable to their party.”
NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTLAND’S FIRST MINISTER
“If the PM’s ‘deal’ satisfies no-one and can’t command a majority, we mustn’t fall for her spin that the UK crashing out of EU without a deal is then inevitable – instead we should take the opportunity to get better options back on the table.”
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