Brexit-update: It all comes down to the numbers

On Thursday the EU and the UK reached a deal in the Brexit negotiations, but it is still unclear whether PM Johnson could gain the numbers he needs in the House of Commons. Johnson has to assemble a coalition of MPs to vote for his Brexit deal.

This morning, Northern Ireland’s DUP stated that it will vote against the deal. It is unknown if the Hardline Brexiteers in the Tory Party will vote with the DUP or whether they will support Johnson’s Brexit deal. It is also unclear how many ‘rebel MPs’ within Labour will support the deal and how many MPs will abstain.

Financial Times Whitehall correspondent Sebastian Payne tweeted about the possible vote.

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At around 11:00 pm, German chancellor Angela Merkel stated that if the deal can not pass Parliament, an extension will be unavoidable. Her remarks contrast with Jean-Claude Juncker’s public statement who said he was ‘ruling out’ an extension. Although the outgoing commission president has no power to veto any delay, he said: “If we have a deal, we have a deal, and there is no need for prolongation.” Any question of a possible extension of the deadline will be in hands of the European Member states.

Johnson confident
The Prime Minister is now in a race against time to sell the Brexit deal he has struck with the EU to MPs ahead of the Commons vote on Saturday. The prime minister insists he is "very confident" of getting the majority he needs to "get Brexit done" by his 31 October deadline.

A spokesman for Johnson said he and and his team were spending the day on the phone to MPs from across the Commons to sell the deal.

If the deal does not pass the Parliament’s vote this Saturday, Boris Johnson will have to ask the EU for another extension. It is very likely that in the case of this scenario he will advise the EU to decline this extension, steering towards a no-deal Brexit.

National Farmers Union
NFU President Minette Batters said in a response: “The NFU is pleased to see that the UK and EU negotiators have come to an agreement on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which might pave the way for an orderly Brexit and the avoidance of leaving without a deal."

“However, we must remember that if this deal is agreed by UK and EU Parliaments in the coming days, it only determines how the UK withdraws from the EU and does not determine the long-term future of the UK’s and EU’s relationship."

“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 which would be illegal to produce here and that there is free and frictionless trade with the EU in the long term."




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