British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday said that a "good" post-Brexit deal with the EU was "within grasp" and she was determined to deliver it. The political declaration - which outlines how UK-EU trade, security and other issues will work - has been "agreed in principle", the European Council says.
The political declaration is a separate document to the 585-page withdrawal agreement, which covers the UK's GBP 39 billion "divorce bill", citizens' rights after Brexit and the thorny issue of the Northern Ireland "backstop" - how to avoid the need for a manned border on the island of Ireland.
The UK and the EU expect to use the Political Declaration as the basis for a detailed post-Brexit trade agreement. "It delivers on the vote of the referendum. It brings back control of our borders, our money and our laws. And it does so while protecting jobs, protecting our security and protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom," May said in a statement.
"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," said May, who heads back to Brussels on Saturday for further meetings with European Commission President Jean-Claude ahead of the crucial summit on Sunday.
PM @Theresa_May spoke in the @HouseofCommons about why delivering on Brexit will allow us to come together as a country and move on to focus on the big issues at home, like our NHS. pic.twitter.com/sfqlKYmhzS
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) November 22, 2018
The political declaration is not a binding document unlike the Withdrawal Agreement, which is a legally binding one.
The agreement reached is between the UK and the European Commission and it will now be up to the 27 leaders of the other EU member-states to examine the draft in the days leading up to the special EU Council meeting on Sunday, when they are expected to formally sign off on the agreement.
Later, in a statement before the House of Commons, May reiterated the "good deal", which would create a new Free Trade Area with the EU, with no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions. She has an uphill battle as the Brexit deal is being opposed by the Labour party as well as by members of her own party.
"This would be the first such agreement between the EU and any advanced economy in the world, which will be good for jobs," she told her country’s MPs in the House of Commons. (With PTI inputs)