Belgium: EU negotiator Barnier hails successful Brexit agreement

The European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier hailed a successful withdrawal agreement reached between the UK and the EU, at a press briefing in Brussels on Wednesday. Barnier defined the provisional deal as «a determined step in concluding these negotiations.» He also revealed that the EU «have now found a solution together with the UK to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland... Еще.» Barnier told reporters in the press conference that if a deal on Ireland isn't reached by July 2020, a backstop agreement will be activated, where Northern Ireland would stay in the same customs territory as the rest of the UK, but the region would remain aligned to some EU regulations to avoid a hard border. The 585-page draft withdrawal agreement sets out in detail what the UK and EU's future relations will look like. The UK will officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019 which will be followed by a transition period of 21 months until the end of December 2020.

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