Theresa May says Brexit deal 'within our grasp' as agreement clinched on future trade

Posted On: 
22nd November 2018

Theresa May has declared that a Brexit deal is “within our grasp” after she clinched a crucial agreement on future trade plans with the EU.

Theresa May made a statement on the steps of Downing Street today
PA Images

The Prime Minister said she had secured “the right deal for the UK,” as EU leaders prepared to sign off the agreement at a special summit on Sunday.

But as she made the declaration to the public on the steps of Downing Street, Mrs May was facing a brewing backlash in her party ranks over the terms of the deal.

READ IN FULL: Theresa May's Downing Street statement as EU and UK agree Brexit political declaration

READ IN FULL: Theresa May's post-Brexit trade roadmap with the EU

EU hands Theresa May a Brexit lifeline on Irish border in attempt to win over Tory rebels

The Government today agreed a ‘future partnership’ plan with the EU - outlining the shape of the future trade deal for when the Brexit transition period ends in December 2020.

The 28-page document was published following talks in Brussels last night between Mrs May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

After an emergency Cabinet conference call to ensure her top team were on side, Mrs May told the nation: “This is the right deal for the UK.”

She added: “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.”

And she said: “On Saturday I will return to Brussels for a further meeting with President Juncker where we will discuss how to bring this process to a conclusion in the interests of all our people.

“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.”

The future partnership document included key proposals to solve the Irish border issue using technological solutions in a bid to get rebel pro-Brexit Tory MPs to back it in the Commons.

It conceded that "alternative arrangements" could be used to avoid physical customs checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland - in reference to so-called "maximum facilitation" solution favoured by Tory eurosceptics who have vowed to vote down the Prime Minister's deal.

But it also included plans for a fishing quota scheme with EU member states, as well as a role for the European Court of Justice - both of which will anger pro-Brexit MPs.