Draft Brexit Deal: Reaction from NI political leaders

British Prime Minister Theresa May listens as Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis speaks at the start of their meeting inside 10 Downing Street in London. Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain

The clock is ticking for Theresa May on Brexit

It's not the final deal, but we have a draft agreement.

At an emergency cabinet meeting, Theresa May hopes to persuade her cabinet to fall behind her so she can get the text signed off.

They, and Ireland in particular, will be relieved to see something Brexiteers will not like at all - that the EU will decide alongside the UK if and when the backstop arrangements need to kick in and also when they can be terminated and superseded by a new EU-UK trade deal.

If May gets her Cabinet to swing behind her, the next stage is getting approval from Parliament by staging a vote in the House of Commons before Christmas. His Conservative colleague Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, described the draft deal as "unacceptable", adding, "For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament will not have a say over the laws that govern this country".

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson has been critical of the government's approach to negotiations, saying 'they uncritically accepted this nonsense of a backstop for Northern Ireland, a problem which doesn't exist and which can be dealt with by the existing trade facilitation measures which are in place'.

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If the cabinet agrees the plan, the European Union expects to hold a special Brexit summit on 25 November. On the downside, supports are located at 1.2930 (20-DMA), 1.2850 (daily low) and 1.2775 (Oct. 26 low).

Some among the cabinet, including Andrea Leadsom and Penny Mordaunt, are hard Brexiters, who want the United Kingdom to fully exit the customs union, which would limit the UK's ability to negotiate trade deals with other countries. Downing Street believes that significant progress has been made over the past 48 hours towards meeting that deadline.

According to sources close to the negotiations in Brussels the text of a draft deal, considered acceptable on a "technical level" to both sides, was settled on Monday night.

If they don't approve it, the United Kingdom careers closer to a "no-deal" Brexit, potentially leaving the European Union without any agreement reached on important issues such as trade, the status of European Union citizens in the United Kingdom or UK citizens in the EU.

But if you thought the revelation, on Tuesday night, that Theresa May has agreed a "divorce" deal with Brussels meant Brexit was done and dusted, think again. "The point is having a legally binding guarantee that a hard Border would not emerge between Northern Ireland and Ireland", he said.

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The news saw the British pound shoot up in value to 1.304 dollars from 1.285 on Tuesday at 2200 GMT.

The FT, citing unidentified diplomats briefed on the discussions, reported the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told European Union ministers the parameters of a possible agreement were largely defined but still required political endorsement.

"Ultimately, the backstop is only an insurance approach to Brexit", he said.

Owen Smith, a champion of the anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said the deal would leave "the British people worse off, and our country weaker as a whole" and urged May to put it to another referendum.

Among the biggest obstacles in reaching agreement has been the length of time over which the Irish backstop - to prevent the development of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland - would apply.

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