Preliminary Brexit deal was announced in Brussels on 8 December 2017.
EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the rest of the EU have the right to stay. Rights of their children and those of partners in existing “durable relationships” are also guaranteed.
The agreement promises to ensure there will be no hard border and to uphold the Belfast agreement. It makes clear the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland, will be leaving the customs union. It leaves unclear how an open border will be achieved but says in the absence of a later agreement, the UK will ensure “full alignment” with the rules of the customs union and single market that uphold the Good Friday agreement.
However, the concession secured by the DUP is that no new regulatory barriers will be allowed between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK without the permission of Stormont in the interest of upholding the Good Friday agreement.
There is no figure on how much the UK is expected to pay but the document sets out how the bill will be calculated – expected to be about £50bn. The UK agrees to continue to pay into the EU budget as normal in 2019 and 2020. It also agrees to pay its liabilities such as pension contributions.
The two sides agreed there would be need for cooperation on nuclear regulation and police and security issues. There was an agreement to ensure continued availability of products on the market before withdrawal and to minimise disruption for businesses and consumers.
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