Prime Minister secures 'great new deal' with EU

(Photo: NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
(Photo: NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Boris Johnson says he has secured 'great new deal' with the European Union ahead of a crunch parliament vote on Saturday.

It comes as the UK is due to leave the bloc in just two weeks time, on 31 October.

The Prime Minister tweeted on Thursday morning (17 October): “We've got a great new deal that takes back control.”

The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also announced the breakthrough, calling it a 'fair and balanced agreement'.

He said on social media: “Where there is a will, there is a deal - we have one!”

The deal will now have to be approved by both the UK and EU parliaments.

Responding, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) said the news will be 'warmly welcomed' by farmers and rural businesses, many of whom were 'fearing the consequences' of a no-deal scenario.

President of the CLA, Tim Breitmeyer said: “The proposed deal finally provides us with some certainty, that could in turn help unlock much needed investment to get the rural economy moving again.

“Opposition MPs, many of whom have argued against a hard Brexit, should think very carefully before voting this deal down. One gets the sense that it’s this deal or no-deal.”

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) echoed this sentiment, saying the deal must secure frictionless trade and regulatory alignment with the EU.

Ian Wright, chief executive of the group, said: “The UK’s food and drink manufacturers will hope that this means, definitively, that a no-deal exit on cannot happen.

“Our focus now switches to whether this deal can command the support of the UK Parliament, and what the detail of the deal means for our members.

“Their objectives are securing frictionless trade and regulatory alignment with the EU, our largest market. They also must have access to the workers our industry needs.”

The NFU said it is 'pleased' to see negotiators have come to an agreement. It did, however, say the deal does not determine the long-term future of the relationship.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “It is vital that government has a long-term aspiration to ensure that British farming standards are not undercut by an ambition to open up British markets to food.

“We have had precious little reassurances on these issues so far and we look to government to be clear about its ambitions for British farming, which provides affordable, safe, home-grown food produced to some of the highest standards in the world.”