Tuesday, November 13th, the United Kingdom announced that it has hashed out and have agreed on a draft agreement with the European Union on exactly how the United Kingdom’s Brexit will proceed. Yet, when the British prime minister’s office announced the news there was no dissemination of the details of the deal. Many believe that no details of the inner workings of the deal will be made until the members of the U.K. Cabinet are consulted on the draft agreement.
The draft agreement in itself marks a milestone for both sides due to how uncomfortable the tense Brexit negotiations had been for the two parties involved. However, the draft agreement does not in anyway make the negotiations any easier or cleaner for both parties. Due to the fact that the agreement only “covers…how the U.K. will leave the EU and does not deal with the future relationship between the two” as stated by NPR’s Colin Dwyer. Furthermore, Prime Minister Theresa May now has an even harder task on her hands, which is to attain the needed amount of votes in Parliament to make the deal official.
The reason why this is even a harder task for Prime Minister Theresa May is that many of her own party members in Parliament have utter vetoed other possible arrangements. Additionally, there has been one issue that has been quite a thorn in the side of the British, which is the position of Northern Ireland. The reason why Northern Ireland has been a thorn in the side of the British is that the region is part of the UK, but due to the agreement is known as the Good Friday agreement, “it also shares an open land border with the Republic of Ireland”, which is an EU member state.
Regarding the open land border, both the UK and the EU have settled on the option that there would be no prescribed customs duties. Yet, to add more salt to the wound many supporters of Brexit have loathed at the idea of placing Northern Ireland under dissimilar rules than the rest of the United Kingdom. To make the issue even more tenuous is the fact that May and her party’s coalition depend on the support and backing of the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. Yet, the deputy leader Nigel Dodds of the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party noted that if the rumors of the deal are true then the party and he could not possibly take a vote on the deal.
Yet, Prime Minister May’s backers are expressing optimism on the outcome of the pending vote in Parliament stating that the agreement will get enough votes of support and backing. Moreover, is the fact that the persuasion campaign to harvest enough support for the deal has begun, because May’s Cabinet ministers are meeting at No. 10 Downing Street for consultation on the deal. Thus, it’s not surprising that May’s chief whip, Conservative lawmaker Julian Smith states 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”.