LONDON: The EU and Britain agreed a draft declaration laying out plans for “ambitious, broad, deep and flexible” relations after Brexit, setting the stage for the divorce to be finalised at a weekend summit.
The EU Council President Donald Tusk said the 26-page declaration, outlining how Britain will work with the bloc on trade, security, the environment and other issues, had been agreed “in principle” and would now be sent to the remaining 27 member states for approval.
The pound leapt by about one percent against the dollar and also firmed against the euro on news of the declaration, struck after through-the-night talks between British and EU negotiators.
Britain’s embattled Prime Minister Theresa May hopes the declaration will convince sceptical lawmakers to approve her vision for the UK’s departure from the bloc.
She is to make a statement to parliament later in the day, presumably to sell MPs the deal, which she hailed on the steps of 10 Downing Street.
“This is the right deal for the UK,” she said after updating her cabinet on the text. “The British people want this to be settled. They want a good deal that sets us on course for a brighter future. That deal is within our grasp and I am determined to deliver it.”
A special summit of all 28 EU leaders to sign the final Brexit deal is planned for Sunday, with May set to travel to Brussels the night before to finalise preparations.