After months of tense negotiations, UK and EU officials have agreed upon the draft text of the agreement that will allow Britain to exit the trade union. According to reports, the draft of the Brexit deal has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both sides after multiple rounds of discussions this week.
The technical agreement had been struck and has been approved by UK Prime Minister Theresay May but still needed political approval both on the British and European sides.
The British prime minister has called for an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the details of the new draft to get her party men to back her. Her cabinet is divided on Brexit, and she has seen senior ministers resign as they are opposed to provisions in the deal that could keep the UK closely tied to the European Union for years ahead.
"Cabinet will meet at 2:00 pm (1400 GMT) tomorrow (Wednesday) to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps," Downing Street said in a statement.
The deal reportedly has found a solution to the backstop problem – the mechanism that will ensure there is no hard border in Ireland after Brexit. The BBC reports that the draft said there would be no Northern Ireland-only backstop and contained only a UK-wide customs "backstop" aimed at preventing new border checks in Northern Ireland.
According to Ireland's RTE, in order to resolve the "backstop," the draft includes the whole of the United Kingdom would remain in a customs arrangement with the European Union. But the deal also has a provision for a review mechanism that could be used in the future by UK to try and leave the backstop arrangement.
But getting her cabinet to support the new draft framework is just the first step for Theresa May in passing the Brexit legislation. Her party holds a slim majority in the British parliament and opposition parties are calling for a new vote on Brexit. Leading hard Brexiteers, such as former Foreign Affairs Secretary Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have already leveled criticism at the draft agreement, saying it keeps the UK under EU control. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which gives Theresa May key votes, said it would be a "very, very hard sell” and “would oppose the bill” if Northern Ireland suffers due to the exit. Read: Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calls Theresa May's Brexit Plan a 'Suicide Vest'
Britain is scheduled to leave the grouping of 27 EU nations on March 29, 2019 even if no final agreement has been reached between London and Brussels.